[Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread ido ivri
Dear members of the WMF Board of Trustees,

I’ve been following the recent events silently - from the voting out of
James Heilman, to the unfortunate timing of recruiting Arnnon Geshuri and
the lack of clear, timely communication around WMF strategy in in general
and specifically around the so-called “Knowledge Engine” grant, received by
the Knight Foundation.

Even more alarming to me, is the slew of exceptional community-facing
employees who left (or are leaving) the Foundation, accompanied by muffled
sounds of discontent from staying Foundation employees.

I’m breaking my silence because I’m very concerned. My concerns stem from
my past experiences with facilitating strategic changes and my experience
in grantmaking - both in and outside of the Movement.

I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a
deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the required
transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in
order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization
and its community.

I’m concerned, because while the “Knowledge Engine” grant provides only a
specific example, it underlines a larger picture that is disturbing:
concealment (rather than openness) as a default, lack of consultation with
the community and weak, general communication around important matters only
after bad press. I also suspect that the vocal members of the community are
right, and that a $250K grant is not the issue, but it part of a bigger
move that will require significantly more resources for the Foundation to
implement.

Lastly, I’m concerned because all this stirs no clear communication from
the Board of Trustees. A Board of Trustees implies there should be trust
between the Board and its constituents. I suspect this isn’t the case
anymore.

If any APG-receiving affiliate conducted itself in such a non transparent,
dishonest manner and with lack of clear, timely communication with its
community and stakeholders, it would get seriously reprimanded by the
Foundation: its board audited, its budget cut, etc. Expecting the
Foundation to be held to a lower standard than any of its worldwide
affiliates is just hypocritical.

I urge the Board of Trustees - Don’t forget that the community of
volunteers and affiliates is a major stakeholder of the Wikimedia
Foundation - and many of us are concerned. I think the community deserves
to better understand where the Wikimedia Foundation is going, and get
honest answers about the changes in the organization, for us to be trusting
again. Please start communicating clearly about those topics.

With utmost respect,

Ido (AKA AlleyCat80)


Board Member, WMIL

Member, Simple APG & GAC.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Ilario Valdelli
Hi Ido,
your email is interesting and reveals an important issue: the governance of
a no for profit organization is a little bit different from that of a
"commercial" company.

In my opinion there is an unclear definition of the stakeholders and the
definition of the importance of these stakeholders and the relations they
have.

Missing a clear definition of these entities and how they are related and
what kind of potential conflicts can be generated by them, it can only
drive to the current picture.

Kind regards

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 9:04 AM, ido ivri  wrote:

> Dear members of the WMF Board of Trustees,
>
> I’ve been following the recent events silently - from the voting out of
> James Heilman, to the unfortunate timing of recruiting Arnnon Geshuri and
> the lack of clear, timely communication around WMF strategy in in general
> and specifically around the so-called “Knowledge Engine” grant, received by
> the Knight Foundation.
>
> Even more alarming to me, is the slew of exceptional community-facing
> employees who left (or are leaving) the Foundation, accompanied by muffled
> sounds of discontent from staying Foundation employees.
>
> I’m breaking my silence because I’m very concerned. My concerns stem from
> my past experiences with facilitating strategic changes and my experience
> in grantmaking - both in and outside of the Movement.
>
> I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a
> deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the required
> transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in
> order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization
> and its community.
>
> I’m concerned, because while the “Knowledge Engine” grant provides only a
> specific example, it underlines a larger picture that is disturbing:
> concealment (rather than openness) as a default, lack of consultation with
> the community and weak, general communication around important matters only
> after bad press. I also suspect that the vocal members of the community are
> right, and that a $250K grant is not the issue, but it part of a bigger
> move that will require significantly more resources for the Foundation to
> implement.
>
> Lastly, I’m concerned because all this stirs no clear communication from
> the Board of Trustees. A Board of Trustees implies there should be trust
> between the Board and its constituents. I suspect this isn’t the case
> anymore.
>
> If any APG-receiving affiliate conducted itself in such a non transparent,
> dishonest manner and with lack of clear, timely communication with its
> community and stakeholders, it would get seriously reprimanded by the
> Foundation: its board audited, its budget cut, etc. Expecting the
> Foundation to be held to a lower standard than any of its worldwide
> affiliates is just hypocritical.
>
> I urge the Board of Trustees - Don’t forget that the community of
> volunteers and affiliates is a major stakeholder of the Wikimedia
> Foundation - and many of us are concerned. I think the community deserves
> to better understand where the Wikimedia Foundation is going, and get
> honest answers about the changes in the organization, for us to be trusting
> again. Please start communicating clearly about those topics.
>
> With utmost respect,
>
> Ido (AKA AlleyCat80)
>
>
> Board Member, WMIL
>
> Member, Simple APG & GAC.
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 




-- 
Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Wikipedia: Ilario 
Skype: valdelli
Tel: +41764821371
http://www.wikimedia.ch
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Andrea Zanni
Thanks Ido.
For what is worth, and in my personal capacity (I'm not affiliated with
Wikimedia Italia any  more) I completely second your concern,
Discussions are ongoing from months now and BoT seems frozen in silence.
People really don't understand why.

I would also like to thank you for expressing it in such a delicate, polite
but clear tone.

Aubrey

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:15 AM, Ilario Valdelli 
wrote:

> Hi Ido,
> your email is interesting and reveals an important issue: the governance of
> a no for profit organization is a little bit different from that of a
> "commercial" company.
>
> In my opinion there is an unclear definition of the stakeholders and the
> definition of the importance of these stakeholders and the relations they
> have.
>
> Missing a clear definition of these entities and how they are related and
> what kind of potential conflicts can be generated by them, it can only
> drive to the current picture.
>
> Kind regards
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 9:04 AM, ido ivri  wrote:
>
> > Dear members of the WMF Board of Trustees,
> >
> > I’ve been following the recent events silently - from the voting out of
> > James Heilman, to the unfortunate timing of recruiting Arnnon Geshuri and
> > the lack of clear, timely communication around WMF strategy in in general
> > and specifically around the so-called “Knowledge Engine” grant, received
> by
> > the Knight Foundation.
> >
> > Even more alarming to me, is the slew of exceptional community-facing
> > employees who left (or are leaving) the Foundation, accompanied by
> muffled
> > sounds of discontent from staying Foundation employees.
> >
> > I’m breaking my silence because I’m very concerned. My concerns stem from
> > my past experiences with facilitating strategic changes and my experience
> > in grantmaking - both in and outside of the Movement.
> >
> > I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a
> > deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the
> required
> > transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in
> > order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization
> > and its community.
> >
> > I’m concerned, because while the “Knowledge Engine” grant provides only a
> > specific example, it underlines a larger picture that is disturbing:
> > concealment (rather than openness) as a default, lack of consultation
> with
> > the community and weak, general communication around important matters
> only
> > after bad press. I also suspect that the vocal members of the community
> are
> > right, and that a $250K grant is not the issue, but it part of a bigger
> > move that will require significantly more resources for the Foundation to
> > implement.
> >
> > Lastly, I’m concerned because all this stirs no clear communication from
> > the Board of Trustees. A Board of Trustees implies there should be trust
> > between the Board and its constituents. I suspect this isn’t the case
> > anymore.
> >
> > If any APG-receiving affiliate conducted itself in such a non
> transparent,
> > dishonest manner and with lack of clear, timely communication with its
> > community and stakeholders, it would get seriously reprimanded by the
> > Foundation: its board audited, its budget cut, etc. Expecting the
> > Foundation to be held to a lower standard than any of its worldwide
> > affiliates is just hypocritical.
> >
> > I urge the Board of Trustees - Don’t forget that the community of
> > volunteers and affiliates is a major stakeholder of the Wikimedia
> > Foundation - and many of us are concerned. I think the community deserves
> > to better understand where the Wikimedia Foundation is going, and get
> > honest answers about the changes in the organization, for us to be
> trusting
> > again. Please start communicating clearly about those topics.
> >
> > With utmost respect,
> >
> > Ido (AKA AlleyCat80)
> >
> >
> > Board Member, WMIL
> >
> > Member, Simple APG & GAC.
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
>
>
>
>
> --
> Ilario Valdelli
> Wikimedia CH
> Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
> Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
> Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
> Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
> Wikipedia: Ilario 
> Skype: valdelli
> Tel: +41764821371
> http://www.wikimedia.ch
> ___
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Cristian Consonni
Hi,

2016-02-18 11:44 GMT+01:00 Andrea Zanni :
> Thanks Ido.
> For what is worth, and in my personal capacity (I'm not affiliated with
> Wikimedia Italia any  more) I completely second your concern,
> Discussions are ongoing from months now and BoT seems frozen in silence.
> People really don't understand why.
>
> I would also like to thank you for expressing it in such a delicate, polite
> but clear tone.

strong +1

Thanks Ido for your thoughtful email, which I wholeheartedly support.
I like very much your email because it voices what I think many
Wikimedians are feeling but may not be keen on expressing themselves
publicly.

2016-02-18 9:04 GMT+01:00 ido ivri :
> I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a
> deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the required
> transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in
> order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization
> and its community.

I share this concern completely.

The only thing I would add to what Ido said is: is there a way that we
- as a community - could help?

Remember that the community is not only a shareholder but also the
greatest asset we have.

Cristian

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Liam Wyatt
On 18 February 2016 at 09:04, ido ivri  wrote:
> If any APG-receiving affiliate conducted itself in such a non transparent,
> dishonest manner and with lack of clear, timely communication with its
> community and stakeholders, it would get seriously reprimanded by the
> Foundation: its board audited, its budget cut, etc. Expecting the
> Foundation to be held to a lower standard than any of its worldwide
> affiliates is just hypocritical.

The principle of the WMF being a good role model for its affiliates -
and living up to minimum standards that it sets for those affiliates -
is one of the primary reasons that the FDC recommended the WMF submit
its next Annual Plan to the same APG system.[1]

This FDC recommendation was built into a full proposal WMF Community
Resources team,[2] and this proposal was accepted by the WMF
leadership - as described by Luis during the January Metrics
Meeting.[3]

This, means that there will at *least* the same level of detail
required from the WMF in annual planning documents, and the same
timeline of public consultation upon those documents. Alongside
Wikimedias Armenia, France, Norway and also CIS, the WMF will be
providing an Annual Plan by April 1 on the central application page on
Meta.[4]

During the 1 April to 30 April community review period,[5] everyone
will be encouraged to thoroughly investigate those documents.
Obviously, the scale of the WMF plan will be larger and (hopefully)
more detailed than would be required from an affiliate. As a member of
the FDC myself, I will be heavily relying on the analysis of the
community to help identify areas that are of concern or are unclear.

So, during the month of April, I strongly encourage everyone to help
with the analysis of the next WMF annual plan!

-Liam

[1] 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/FDC_recommendations/2015-2016_round_1#Wikimedia_Foundation
[2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WMF_2016-17_Annual_Planning_Recommendation
[3] Starting at 19:40. https://youtu.be/GpZOx1Mzmuk?t=19m40s  One
crucial difference will be that the FDC will be making recommendation
based on its analysis, but *not* be providing a recommendation in
terms of actual dollars.
[4] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Proposals/2015-2016_round_2
[5] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Information#Calendar

wittylama.com
Peace, love & metadata

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread reachout2isaac
Dear Ido.

I share your concern about these problems and thanks for exercising your right 
to voice your concerns. I'm a bit worried about the  potentially devastating 
effects of these problems on the Wikimedia Projects. Personally, I don't want 
to have any reason to lose confidence in the BoT but I think the community 
deserves clarity on certain issues. Volunteers and affiliates are major 
backbones of the Wikimedia Foundation and they need to understand why certain 
decision is taken by the WMF. I probably do not understand why the BoT decided 
to remain silent on pertinent issues raised here over a month now. This is 
worrisome and heartbreaking.

Best,

Olatunde Isaac
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

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From: wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org
Sender: "Wikimedia-l" Date: Thu, 18 
Feb 2016 12:00:25 
To: 
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Subject: Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 143, Issue 85

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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT (Ilario Valdelli)
   2. Re: An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT (Andrea Zanni)
   3. Re: An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT (Cristian Consonni)


--

Message: 1
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 11:15:24 +0100
From: Ilario Valdelli 
To: Wikimedia Mailing List 
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT
Message-ID:

Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Dariusz Jemielniak
18.02.2016 7:25 AM "Liam Wyatt"  napisał(a):
>
>
> The principle of the WMF being a good role model for its affiliates -
> and living up to minimum standards that it sets for those affiliates -
> is one of the primary reasons that the FDC recommended the WMF submit
> its next Annual Plan to the same APG system.

Yes, I'm glad that after several years of championing the idea within the
FDC and to the Board, we have succeeded in making it finally happen.

> During the 1 April to 30 April community review period,[5] everyone
> will be encouraged to thoroughly investigate those documents.

And the community can do much more here than in the previous years, where
feedback was quite minimal.

As far as I'm concerned, I've often times repeated that I believe that WMFs
main source of competitive advantage is the relations with the communities
and our unique symbiosis. Content is not our competitive advantage, as it
is free to copy by anyone, and in technology we're years behind the curve
(the same goes for design, structures, etc.). But collaboration with our
communities is something that makes us at least as good as the giants of
the Internet industry (remember Google's failed community-driven
encyclopedia? Case in point).

We need to get a grip, have more transparency, but also more bidirectional
support, and start thinking about the future (I'm not saying this to sound
as "nothing to watch, move on", but to restore some perspective and
proportions). There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely leading
here, too! ;)
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[Wikimedia-l] Another goodbye

2016-02-18 Thread Mohammed Bachounda
so sad to hear you leave the foundation, i can't assimilate all what is
happening around me as mutation dans le mouvement
but I'm glad to see you so close to us seeeko

bonne chance
حظ جميل
-- 

*Mohammed Bachounda*
Leader Wikimedia Algérie UG
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[Wikimedia-l] Facebook marketing inside pt.wikipedia

2016-02-18 Thread Rodrigo Padula
Hello fellows!

Since the end of the last year some contributors from pt.wikipedia are 
discussing regarding the idea of including the promotion of our Facebook Page 
on site Notice [1]

That proposal was started by Teles, a Brazilian steward. He received a lot of 
local support.

The general idea is to bring more people from Facebook to access Wikipedia 
through our Facebook page, but what we are doing is redirecting users from 
pt.wikipedia to Facebook and including a free Facebook ads on pt.wikipedia.

I would like to know if it is ok for the Wikimedia Movement and if this kind of 
Facebook promotional campaign was proposed and published in other 
wikipedias/wikimedia projects.

[1] 
https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Esplanada/propostas/Inserir_p%C3%A1gina_da_Wikip%C3%A9dia_em_portugu%C3%AAs_do_Facebook_no_sitenotice_%2825nov2015%29

Best regards

Rodrigo Padula
Coordenador de Projetos
Grupo Wikimedia Brasileiro de Educação e Pesquisa
http://www.wikimedia.org.br
+55 21 99326-0558


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [discovery] USA elections in real time - as viewed by Wikipedia users

2016-02-18 Thread Deborah Tankersley
Very cool! Will it be updated automatically on a daily basis? :)

Cheers,

Deb

--
Deb Tankersley
Product Manager, Discovery
Wikimedia Foundation

On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 9:48 PM, Yuri Astrakhan 
wrote:

> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Yurik/US_Politics_Real_Time
>
> Thanks Dario Taraborelli for the idea.
>
> ___
> discovery mailing list
> discov...@lists.wikimedia.org
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/discovery
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [discovery] USA elections in real time - as viewed by Wikipedia users

2016-02-18 Thread Yuri Astrakhan
It will be updated whenever the page containing the template is
re-generated (e.g. the page is changed, or someone does a null-save).  I
heard that every page is forcefully regenerated if its older than 30 days,
but I might be mistaken. We should at some point figure out a way to
force-regenerate some of these graphs, but I am not yet sure how to
approach that.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 7:55 PM, Deborah Tankersley <
dtankers...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Very cool! Will it be updated automatically on a daily basis? :)
>
> Cheers,
>
> Deb
>
> --
> Deb Tankersley
> Product Manager, Discovery
> Wikimedia Foundation
>
> On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 9:48 PM, Yuri Astrakhan 
> wrote:
>
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Yurik/US_Politics_Real_Time
>>
>> Thanks Dario Taraborelli for the idea.
>>
>> ___
>> discovery mailing list
>> discov...@lists.wikimedia.org
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/discovery
>>
>>
>
> ___
> discovery mailing list
> discov...@lists.wikimedia.org
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/discovery
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Ori Livneh
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
wrote:

> There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely leading
> here, too! ;)
>

No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results to
show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in the
press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is in
the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and is
currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover capabilities,
which is to happen this Spring.

That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user rating
than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc. Or
the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
tool.

This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
from Engineering won't be long now. Our initial astonishment at the Board's
unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local and
specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Your questions about KE.

2016-02-18 Thread Lila Tretikov
just a quick note... quite a few questions are being answered on the page.

On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 6:33 PM, MZMcBride  wrote:

> Lila Tretikov wrote:
> >There are a lot of questions still floating around around the Knowledge
> >Engine, in a lot of different places. I want to answer them fully,
> >directly and in one central place. To that end, I’m going to be putting
> >together an FAQ page
> > on Meta to ask and
> >answer questions and - with the help of our staff -- to address them. We
> >will release answers as we are able to collect and address them, so
> >depending on the number of questions we get it may take a while, but we
> >will begin responding during Pacific working hours today.
>
> Thank you for starting this page and for taking the lead in responding to
> questions raised about the proposed Knowledge Engine.
>
> >If you have questions, please send them or leave them there. We may
> >aggregate similar questions, but we will do our best to answer all of them
> >to your satisfaction.
>
> I've e-mailed you privately.
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
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>



-- 
Lila Tretikov
Wikimedia Foundation

*“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Moiz Syed
Wow, thank you Ori. +1 to everything you said.

That line from Dariusz disappointed me to, but I just chalked it up to just
another case of a board member downplaying community/staff concerns and
plea for help.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:33 AM, Ori Livneh  wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
> wrote:
>
> > There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> > working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> > many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely leading
> > here, too! ;)
> >
>
> No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results to
> show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in the
> press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is in
> the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and is
> currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover capabilities,
> which is to happen this Spring.
>
> That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user rating
> than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc. Or
> the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> tool.
>
> This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> from Engineering won't be long now. Our initial astonishment at the Board's
> unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local and
> specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Toby Negrin
Indeed - thank you Ori on behalf of the entire technical organization.

Dariusz - I'd ask that you consider the assumptions that you listed in your
email more closely. Ori, myself and others would be very happy to work with
you this.

-Toby

On Thursday, February 18, 2016, Moiz Syed  wrote:

> Wow, thank you Ori. +1 to everything you said.
>
> That line from Dariusz disappointed me to, but I just chalked it up to just
> another case of a board member downplaying community/staff concerns and
> plea for help.
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:33 AM, Ori Livneh  > wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak  >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> > > working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> > > many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely
> leading
> > > here, too! ;)
> > >
> >
> > No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> > to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results
> to
> > show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> > save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> > deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> > times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in
> the
> > press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> > count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> > rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is
> in
> > the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> > comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> > team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> > HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> > provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and
> is
> > currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover
> capabilities,
> > which is to happen this Spring.
> >
> > That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> > says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> > featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user
> rating
> > than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc.
> Or
> > the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> > tool.
> >
> > This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> > If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> > from Engineering won't be long now. Our initial astonishment at the
> Board's
> > unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> > The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local
> and
> > specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org 
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Dan Andreescu
>
> This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> from Engineering won't be long now.


I hope you're wrong, Ori.  I hope people have the presence of mind, like
you say - despite the dysfunction at the top, to stay and talk things out
among each other.  And to realize that the dysfunction at the top does not
*really* matter.  People screw up, but this is a movement.  And this
movement, as you point out, has not screwed up.

I hope we talk, fix the problems, and grow stronger in our connection and
commitment to the amazing community we serve.

If anyone is feeling despair, please talk to me first, we have all the
reason in the world to channel our effort in a positive direction.  Just to
be clear, I admire Ori for his intelligence and for writing this email, I
just hope he's wrong that people will leave this place that I love so much.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Dariusz Jemielniak
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 1:56 PM, Casey Dentinger 
wrote:

> > and in technology we're years behind the curve
>
> I think this is a reductive view of the technology at WMF.  It is true
> that many systems have been around in name for a long time, but that
> doesn't mean they haven't been evolving under the hood (as Ori describes)
> to scale with demand at the same (or better) pace as our trendier peers
> (who are often married to fly-by-night technologies).  In an era of 10s
> pageloads hauling megabytes of trackware, WP's stats are actually pretty
> stellar.
>

True, by all means. But my point (clumsily phrased) was that we will not
likely be considered more technologically advanced than Google or Apple,
while we really ARE more proficient in terms of the social systems and
community collaboration. My only regret is that we way too rarely reiterate
how amazing we are. The fact that we do a lot of great tech stuff, too is a
reason to celebrate (and my apologies to anyone who read my comment as
disparaging our work there).

Let me put it this way: it is great we have the tech as robust and advanced
as it is. This is awesome. Let's also recognize the fact that our
communities, working together with the WMF, is something unique, to avoid
the narrow vision of "evil foundation" vs. "unreasonable and random crowd".

dj
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Sydney Poore
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 7:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak  wrote:

>
> We need to get a grip, have more transparency, but also more bidirectional
> support, and start thinking about the future (I'm not saying this to sound
> as "nothing to watch, move on", but to restore some perspective and
> proportions). There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely leading
> here, too! ;)

Dariusz,

While it is important to point out the ways that people can give
useful feedback to WMF today and over the next few months (as Liam
did), we also need to clearly recognize the deep feelings of concern,
frustration, and anger expressed by staff and members of the
community.

It is widespread now to the point that unless constructive measures
are taken to address these legitimate feeling, we risk having people
withdraw from productive venues for engagement.

Most people are likely to think that at least some the staff that
resigned didn't go without attempting to improve the situation before
they left. And that other staff still at WMF are also frustrated and
concerned. We need more validation of concerns that smart and
knowledgeable people's advice and counsel is/was overlooked and that
is going to change.

The staff and community need to believe that their engagement will
influence the outcome.

We need to build confidence that engagement will have an impact on
future actions of the WMF BoT and ED's plans.

Dariusz, I know that you have good intentions, but your comments in
this thread and other place are still not reassuring that you
understand that serious damage has occurred and needs to be repaired
before people are going to want to work collaboratively with WMF.

Warm regards,
Sydney

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Asaf Bartov
Thank you, Ori. +1 to everything you said.

Dariusz, I disagree with you: this *is* a time for "negativity".  We have
been laboring under significant dysfunction for more than a year now, and
are now in crisis.  We are losing precious colleagues, time, money, *even
more* community trust than we had previously squandered, and health
(literally; the board HR committee has been sent some details).

All this makes it a time for looking "the negative" in the eye and taking
decisive action, so that the healing can begin.  It is not a time for
concentrating on the still-wonderful aspects of this movement's work.  If I
did not know you and know for a fact that cannot be your intent, it would
sure feel like attempted misdirection. (Please read the beginning of the
previous sentence again if you need to.)

Please act.  If for some reason the board cannot act, please state that
reason.  Signal to us, community and staff, by concrete words if not by
deeds, that you understand the magnitude of the problem.

With great sympathy for how unpleasant it must be to be a (volunteer) board
member right now,

   A.
On Feb 18, 2016 11:29 AM, "Sydney Poore"  wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 7:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
> wrote:
> 
> >
> > We need to get a grip, have more transparency, but also more
> bidirectional
> > support, and start thinking about the future (I'm not saying this to
> sound
> > as "nothing to watch, move on", but to restore some perspective and
> > proportions). There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> > working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> > many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely leading
> > here, too! ;)
>
> Dariusz,
>
> While it is important to point out the ways that people can give
> useful feedback to WMF today and over the next few months (as Liam
> did), we also need to clearly recognize the deep feelings of concern,
> frustration, and anger expressed by staff and members of the
> community.
>
> It is widespread now to the point that unless constructive measures
> are taken to address these legitimate feeling, we risk having people
> withdraw from productive venues for engagement.
>
> Most people are likely to think that at least some the staff that
> resigned didn't go without attempting to improve the situation before
> they left. And that other staff still at WMF are also frustrated and
> concerned. We need more validation of concerns that smart and
> knowledgeable people's advice and counsel is/was overlooked and that
> is going to change.
>
> The staff and community need to believe that their engagement will
> influence the outcome.
>
> We need to build confidence that engagement will have an impact on
> future actions of the WMF BoT and ED's plans.
>
> Dariusz, I know that you have good intentions, but your comments in
> this thread and other place are still not reassuring that you
> understand that serious damage has occurred and needs to be repaired
> before people are going to want to work collaboratively with WMF.
>
> Warm regards,
> Sydney
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Casey Dentinger
I would like to second what Ori said and add:

> and in technology we're years behind the curve

I think this is a reductive view of the technology at WMF.  It is true that
many systems have been around in name for a long time, but that doesn't
mean they haven't been evolving under the hood (as Ori describes) to scale
with demand at the same (or better) pace as our trendier peers (who are
often married to fly-by-night technologies).  In an era of 10s pageloads
hauling megabytes of trackware, WP's stats are actually pretty stellar.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:33 AM, Ori Livneh  wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
> wrote:
>
> > There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> > working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> > many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely leading
> > here, too! ;)
> >
>
> No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results to
> show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in the
> press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is in
> the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and is
> currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover capabilities,
> which is to happen this Spring.
>
> That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user rating
> than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc. Or
> the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> tool.
>
> This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> from Engineering won't be long now. Our initial astonishment at the Board's
> unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local and
> specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Joseph Seddon
I must echo Ori.

We have some brilliant, brilliant people who really are doing some
fantastic work. The trouble is that as Brandon Harris has already confirmed
on the Wikipedia Weekly facebook group. People are looking to leave.
Actively.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 6:33 PM, Ori Livneh  wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
> wrote:
>
> > There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> > working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> > many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely leading
> > here, too! ;)
> >
>
> No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results to
> show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in the
> press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is in
> the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and is
> currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover capabilities,
> which is to happen this Spring.
>
> That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user rating
> than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc. Or
> the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> tool.
>
> This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> from Engineering won't be long now. Our initial astonishment at the Board's
> unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local and
> specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> 
>



-- 
Seddon

*Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
*Wikimedia Foundation*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Edward Galvez
Second Asaf and Sydney. Please take these concerns seriously. If you truly
*respect* us and this movement, please act.



On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:53 AM, Joseph Seddon 
wrote:

> I must echo Ori.
>
> We have some brilliant, brilliant people who really are doing some
> fantastic work. The trouble is that as Brandon Harris has already confirmed
> on the Wikipedia Weekly facebook group. People are looking to leave.
> Actively.
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 6:33 PM, Ori Livneh  wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
> > wrote:
> >
> > > There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> > > working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> > > many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely
> leading
> > > here, too! ;)
> > >
> >
> > No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> > to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results
> to
> > show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> > save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> > deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> > times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in
> the
> > press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> > count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> > rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is
> in
> > the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> > comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> > team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> > HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> > provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and
> is
> > currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover
> capabilities,
> > which is to happen this Spring.
> >
> > That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> > says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> > featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user
> rating
> > than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc.
> Or
> > the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> > tool.
> >
> > This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> > If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> > from Engineering won't be long now. Our initial astonishment at the
> Board's
> > unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> > The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local
> and
> > specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Seddon
>
> *Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
> *Wikimedia Foundation*
> ___
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> 
>



-- 
Edward Galvez
Survey Specialist
Learning & Evaluation
Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Elsevier?

2016-02-18 Thread Alex Stinson
Teemu,

As a followup:

We would love to be more aligned with Open Access publishers, but at this
point, we have yet to find a demonstrably *repeatable* and *scalable* model
of programming which we could promote to the entire movement and the Open
Access community. When OA publishers already set the standard for Open
knowledge, its less clear where to intervene (whereas, supporting GLAM,
EDU, STEM and TWL outreach are about unlocking hard to find or closed
access material for our community to take advantage of).

We do have a relationship with PLOS at WMF:

   - We have been including contacts within PLOS on a collaboration to
   improve the Wikimedia ecosystem for citations and research, including
   looking at structured data in Wikimedia citations (something we are
   beginning to explore with Wikimedia Research, WikiProject X, WikiProject
   Source Metadata, WMDE, CrossRef and others). You should hear more about
   this in the next 4-6 months, as it becomes actual collaboration among these
   groups.
   - We are also reaching out to PLOS to participate in Dark Traffic
   Research:
   https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Wikimedia_referrer_policy and
   they are further connected to us via our relationship with CrossRef.
   - We have had several calls with the PLOS partnerships team as The
   Wikipedia Library, and have seen a bit of stalled trying to figure out how
   both our community and theirs could benefit from a partnership more
   extensive than a WIR or volunteer led content drive, programatically -- and
   those kinds of individual leadership roles are outside what we develop at
   the WMF (see our criteria for new projects in Program Capacity and
   Learning: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Program_Capacity_and_Learning)
   .

So the question is: what are the best ways to collaborate with Open Access
publishers? And who can lead in these initiatives? We would be happy to
mentor any volunteers or affiliates who want to develop these program
models on behalf of the movement.

If you have ideas, we would encourage sharing them with WikiProject Open
Access (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Open_Access),
or on IdeaLab (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab).

Cheers,

Alex Stinson



> > On 15.2.2016, at 18.07, Pete Forsyth  wrote:
> > Apart from brand affiliation, what do you see as a potential benefit from
> > partnering with PLoS?
>
> I think brand affiliation would be a good start and could help PLoS, that
> is not so well known as the Wikipedia.
>
> I wouldn’t be agains giving PLoS some financially supported, too, because
> they are like-minded non-profit organization with very similar mission as
> we have (and I am saying this without knowing anything about their
> financial situation).
>
> - Teemu
> --
> Teemu Leinonen
> http://teemuleinonen.fi
> +358 50 351 6796
> Media Lab
> http://mlab.uiah.fi
> Aalto University
> School of Arts, Design and Architecture
> --
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [discovery] USA elections in real time - as viewed by Wikipedia users

2016-02-18 Thread Gergo Tisza
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 9:02 AM, Yuri Astrakhan 
wrote:

> It will be updated whenever the page containing the template is
> re-generated (e.g. the page is changed, or someone does a null-save).  I
> heard that every page is forcefully regenerated if its older than 30 days,
>

Yes, and extension tags embedded in the page can reduce that, so if the
graph has a way of knowing how long the data will be valid, it can tell
that to the parser via ParserOutput::updateCacheExpiry.
As a hacky manual workaround, you can put {{CURRENTHOUR}} into the page to force hourly
refresh.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Lila Tretikov
For a few 2015 accomplishments by the product/technical teams you can see
them listed here:

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/2015_Wikimedia_Foundation_Product_and_Technology_Highlights







On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:56 AM, Casey Dentinger 
wrote:

> I would like to second what Ori said and add:
>
> > and in technology we're years behind the curve
>
> I think this is a reductive view of the technology at WMF.  It is true that
> many systems have been around in name for a long time, but that doesn't
> mean they haven't been evolving under the hood (as Ori describes) to scale
> with demand at the same (or better) pace as our trendier peers (who are
> often married to fly-by-night technologies).  In an era of 10s pageloads
> hauling megabytes of trackware, WP's stats are actually pretty stellar.
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:33 AM, Ori Livneh  wrote:
>
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:47 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
> > wrote:
> >
> > > There is way too much blaming/bashing/sour expectations
> > > working both ways - we almost forget how unique we are, irrespective of
> > > many slips and avoidable failures we make (and WMF  is definitely
> leading
> > > here, too! ;)
> > >
> >
> > No, we're not. My peers in the Technology department work incredibly hard
> > to provide value for readers and editors, and we have very good results
> to
> > show for it. Less than two years ago it took an average of six seconds to
> > save an edit to an article; it is about one second now. (MediaWiki
> > deployments are currently halted over a 200-300ms regression!). Page load
> > times improved by 30-40% in the past year, which earned us plaudits in
> the
> > press and in professional circles. The analytics team figured out how to
> > count unique devices without compromising user anonimity and privacy and
> > rolled out a robust public API for page view data. The research team is
> in
> > the process of collecting feedback from readers and compiling the first
> > comprehensive picture of what brings readers to the projects. The TechOps
> > team made Wikipedia one of the first major internet properties to go
> > HTTPS-only, slashed latency for users in many parts of the world by
> > provisioning a cache pop on the Pacific Coast of the United States, and
> is
> > currently gearing up for a comprehensive test of our failover
> capabilities,
> > which is to happen this Spring.
> >
> > That's just the activity happening immediately around me in the org, and
> > says nothing of engineering accomplishments like the Android app being
> > featured on the Play store in 93 countries and having a higher user
> rating
> > than Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Netflix, Snapchat, Google Photos, etc.
> Or
> > the 56,669 articles that have been created using the Content Translation
> > tool.
> >
> > This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> > If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> > from Engineering won't be long now. Our initial astonishment at the
> Board's
> > unwillingness to acknowledge and address this dysfunction is wearing off.
> > The slips and failures are not generalized and diffuse. They are local
> and
> > specific, and their location has been indicated to you repeatedly.
> > ___
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> >
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>



-- 
Lila Tretikov
Wikimedia Foundation

*“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Dariusz Jemielniak
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 2:54 PM, Asaf Bartov  wrote:

> All this makes it a time for looking "the negative" in the eye and taking
> decisive action, so that the healing can begin.  It is not a time for
> concentrating on the still-wonderful aspects of this movement's work.  If I
> did not know you and know for a fact that cannot be your intent, it would
> sure feel like attempted misdirection. (Please read the beginning of the
> previous sentence again if you need to.)
>
I know of people who are overwhelmed with negativity on the list. I myself
feel it, too, although I am determined not to reduce my participation or
liaising with the communities.

When I refer to being constructive, I speak of exactly seeking decisive
actions and moving forward, instead of gathering around a lying body and
kicking :)

I understand I may receive much more of (also often valid) criticism just
because I participate in the dialogue here. I guess that's fine as long as
we all still move forward (read: suggest satisfactory protocols and decide
on actions that will lower the tensions).

I think that what is useful in such times is being precise: for instance,
there was a voiced demand (which I support and consider reasonable) to have
the Knowledge Engine explained. I really like the fact that there is an FAQ
prepared and that there are answers posted. This is a constructive method
of addressing a particular problem (I'm referring to the approach, not to
the content, obviously, since it is a new page). I think we need precision
in defining problems, and also precision in proposing constructive
solutions, that's all.

dj
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Brion Vibber
On Feb 18, 2016 12:08 PM, "Dariusz Jemielniak"  wrote:
>
> When I refer to being constructive, I speak of exactly seeking decisive
> actions and moving forward, instead of gathering around a lying body and
> kicking :)

What is the board doing, going forward, to stem the tide of staff
resignations?

-- brion
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [discovery] USA elections in real time - as viewed by Wikipedia users

2016-02-18 Thread Yuri Astrakhan
Gergo, good to know, thanks.  Graph extension itself does not know how long
the data is valid - it simply gets a URL from which to get the pageviews
(or any other) data. At this point, only the person who writes the graph
template knows how long its valid for.

We could add an extra attribute to the graph, e.g. 
(number of minutes), to let graph extension update cache expiry.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:04 PM, Gergo Tisza  wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 9:02 AM, Yuri Astrakhan 
> wrote:
>
> > It will be updated whenever the page containing the template is
> > re-generated (e.g. the page is changed, or someone does a null-save).  I
> > heard that every page is forcefully regenerated if its older than 30
> days,
> >
>
> Yes, and extension tags embedded in the page can reduce that, so if the
> graph has a way of knowing how long the data will be valid, it can tell
> that to the parser via ParserOutput::updateCacheExpiry.
> As a hacky manual workaround, you can put  style="display:none">{{CURRENTHOUR}} into the page to force hourly
> refresh.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Leila Zia
Hi Dariusz,

I want to share with you the following relatively scattered thoughts and
leave it to you to decide how to continue engaging with us. :-) I hope you
find them helpful:

* BoT has been too silent, given the state of matters. I'm much more
worried about our volunteers when I say this, than the WMF's staff (which
I'm one of).

* You engaging in this list has been a breeze for me. I know at least
someone from the BoT is reading these emails and is engaging. Thank you for
that. :-)

* Because of the lack of clear communications by the BoT, I'm uncertain
whether there is an acknowledgement by the BoT about the issues we are
facing. What can assure me at the moment is to see a list of items the BoT
sees as problematic, and a plan for addressing them, and a schedule for
when we should expect seeing them addressed. (Half-jokingly: maybe we need
a phabrictor board for the BoT to track specific tasks that can be shared
publicly and their prioritization).

* Although I really appreciate you engaging in this list, I see that in the
absence of more frequent official communications from the BoT, what you say
in this list is interpreted as a strong signal from the BoT, and it is held
to the standards we expect to see when we communicate with a Board member.
This means that if you are not specific and even more careful with your
choice of words, you will hear strong criticism, just because
words/statements can be interpreted differently depending on the context we
are operating in.

* I'm asking you to continue communicating with us in your capacity as a
Board member, and I'm also asking you to be very very careful with your
choice of words and statements. Trust me: I know what I'm asking you is
extremely hard. So, here is what I offer you: I assume good faith in what
you say and please reach out if I can be of help.

Ido, Ori, thank you for your emails. They help us be stronger, and move in
the right direction.

Leila


Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:03 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 1:56 PM, Casey Dentinger  >
> wrote:
>
> > > and in technology we're years behind the curve
> >
> > I think this is a reductive view of the technology at WMF.  It is true
> > that many systems have been around in name for a long time, but that
> > doesn't mean they haven't been evolving under the hood (as Ori describes)
> > to scale with demand at the same (or better) pace as our trendier peers
> > (who are often married to fly-by-night technologies).  In an era of 10s
> > pageloads hauling megabytes of trackware, WP's stats are actually pretty
> > stellar.
> >
>
> True, by all means. But my point (clumsily phrased) was that we will not
> likely be considered more technologically advanced than Google or Apple,
> while we really ARE more proficient in terms of the social systems and
> community collaboration. My only regret is that we way too rarely reiterate
> how amazing we are. The fact that we do a lot of great tech stuff, too is a
> reason to celebrate (and my apologies to anyone who read my comment as
> disparaging our work there).
>
> Let me put it this way: it is great we have the tech as robust and advanced
> as it is. This is awesome. Let's also recognize the fact that our
> communities, working together with the WMF, is something unique, to avoid
> the narrow vision of "evil foundation" vs. "unreasonable and random crowd".
>
> dj
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[Wikimedia-l] What is the Board's HR Committee doing to stem the tide of staff resignations?

2016-02-18 Thread Brion Vibber
On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 12:26 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak 
 wrote:

>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 3:16 PM, Brion Vibber 
>  wrote:
>
>> What is the board doing, going forward, to stem the tide of staff
>> resignations?
>>
>
>  We have started with an engagement survey, and organizational facilitator
> analysis. More and more current input can be provided by Patricio or others
> from the Board's HR Committee, but there is also a lot of work done by the
> HR department, under its new leadership.
>

Patricio, can you add more details here please?

The engagement survey in November showed very, very low support for the
Executive Director. I'm not sure what "organizational facilitator analysis"
is, but if it's related to the management coaching for Lila, there are some
unanswered emails on the staff list which are very discouraging. I can
forward them to you if you are unaware.

As a longtime part of Wikimedia's community and staff, I would really
appreciate some clear answers on what's going on and why we're losing more
and more longtime community and staff members while an ED who needs
management coaching is still in place.

-- brion
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Yaroslav M. Blanter

On 2016-02-18 21:20, Leila Zia wrote:

Hi Dariusz,

I want to share with you the following relatively scattered thoughts 
and
leave it to you to decide how to continue engaging with us. :-) I hope 
you

find them helpful:

* BoT has been too silent, given the state of matters. I'm much more
worried about our volunteers when I say this, than the WMF's staff 
(which

I'm one of).


To be honest, most volunteers do not care. We understand of course that 
if things would go really wrong, for example, servers stop running, or 
money runs out and ads are introduced, or English Wikipedia admins 
continue resigning/being desysopped without proper replacement, so that 
we have ten active admins, then we are in serious trouble. But as far as 
things are running quasi-normal, we just continue. I was making 50 to 
100 edits per day five years ago, I am making 50 to 100 edits per day 
now, I will probably still be making 50 to 100 edits per day in five 
years, unless I die or leave because of a serious demotivation - and 
this demotivation is unlikely to be related to WMF. I think staff are 
way more vulnerable to all kinds of events.




* Because of the lack of clear communications by the BoT, I'm uncertain
whether there is an acknowledgement by the BoT about the issues we are
facing. What can assure me at the moment is to see a list of items the 
BoT

sees as problematic, and a plan for addressing them, and a schedule for
when we should expect seeing them addressed. (Half-jokingly: maybe we 
need
a phabrictor board for the BoT to track specific tasks that can be 
shared

publicly and their prioritization).



This is a cool idea. It is a pity it has zero chances to be realized.

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Amir Ladsgroup
I disagree Yaroslav,
1- This affects Wikipedia indirectly.
When downtime goes up alongside with editing time, we will lose users.
New users won't stay, etc. it damages new user retention and therefore,
the viability of the project in the long term.
2- Wikipedia is up because of its editors but also because we have a huge
infrastructure around it. A simple example: A hypothetical buggy release of
mediawiki due to lapses of inexperienced staff (because we lost
experienced ones let's say for a similar incident in the future) can lead
to a huge security breach and losing a huge amount of trust. This damage
can't and won't be fixed.
3- Staff and editors are not totally separated, living in a different
world. It's a chain filled by volunteer organizers and volunteer
developers. People who are active in chapters, technical projects etc. If
staff lose their trust in WMF, all other members of the chain will fall
afterwards. A simple example: pywikibot is being maintained entirely by the
volunteers but some of them are staff in their volunteer capacity. We lose
them, then we lose other maintainers of pywikibot and then eventually bots
will fail to run what do you think if we don't have any bots in wikis,
especially small wikis? Think of GLAM. Reach out programs, etc.

A note: These are extreme cases. I hope they will never happen.

Best

On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 1:22 AM Yaroslav M. Blanter 
wrote:

> On 2016-02-18 21:20, Leila Zia wrote:
> > Hi Dariusz,
> >
> > I want to share with you the following relatively scattered thoughts
> > and
> > leave it to you to decide how to continue engaging with us. :-) I hope
> > you
> > find them helpful:
> >
> > * BoT has been too silent, given the state of matters. I'm much more
> > worried about our volunteers when I say this, than the WMF's staff
> > (which
> > I'm one of).
>
> To be honest, most volunteers do not care. We understand of course that
> if things would go really wrong, for example, servers stop running, or
> money runs out and ads are introduced, or English Wikipedia admins
> continue resigning/being desysopped without proper replacement, so that
> we have ten active admins, then we are in serious trouble. But as far as
> things are running quasi-normal, we just continue. I was making 50 to
> 100 edits per day five years ago, I am making 50 to 100 edits per day
> now, I will probably still be making 50 to 100 edits per day in five
> years, unless I die or leave because of a serious demotivation - and
> this demotivation is unlikely to be related to WMF. I think staff are
> way more vulnerable to all kinds of events.
>
>
> > * Because of the lack of clear communications by the BoT, I'm uncertain
> > whether there is an acknowledgement by the BoT about the issues we are
> > facing. What can assure me at the moment is to see a list of items the
> > BoT
> > sees as problematic, and a plan for addressing them, and a schedule for
> > when we should expect seeing them addressed. (Half-jokingly: maybe we
> > need
> > a phabrictor board for the BoT to track specific tasks that can be
> > shared
> > publicly and their prioritization).
> >
>
> This is a cool idea. It is a pity it has zero chances to be realized.
>
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outcomes from the Consultation on Wikimedia movement conferences/Wikimania

2016-02-18 Thread Chris Keating
On 18 Feb 2016 00:24, "Chris Schilling"  wrote:
>
> >
> > 3) I am still really unsure who is owning this process, either within
the
> > WMF or in general. Generally, I think clear responsibility and
> > accountability *eases* difficult conversations and so far as I can tell
> > they are  lacking in the conversation about "what should happen with
> > Wikimania".
>
>
> Hey Chris.  I agree that the ownership of the "what should happen with
> Wikimania" question is somewhat murky at the moment.  It's true that I
> along with others in Community Resources prepared and ran this
> consultation, and
>
> Is it the WMF's view that Wikimania in its current form is
> >
> broken and change is needed - if so who represents that view to the
> > community? (Or if not, what *is* the WMF's view?)
>
>
> It is fair to say that our team does view the past planning process for
> Wikimania (i.e. 2015 and prior) as problematic and not feasible, for the
> reasons described in the consultation itself.[1]
>
> Equally, I am not really
> > clear what the Wikimania Committee sees its sees its role as these days.
> > In
> > general I am all for ad-hoc groups going and doing things but I think we
> > are some way past the limit of that model with Wikimania.
>
>
> I'm in full agreement.  The role of the Wikimania/Steering Committee will
> need to be better defined, and I suspect some of that will happen over the
> next year.
>
> 4) I don't see a 55-47 vote on a menu of 3 options as being a particularly
> > strong indication of community consensus. Indeed, it's pretty clear
there
> > isn't a consensus, and it would be a shame if people proceeded on the
basis
> > that "There was a consultation and the answer was X - so we're doing X".
> > That said, I would be really happy to hear voices from the WMF or the
> > Wikimania Committee saying "The important factors we see are X, Y and Z.
> > From the consultation showed lots of other people were thinking X and Y
> > (though less Z) and P and Q were also important which we hadn't thought
> > about. As a result, we are intending to do: This.
>
>
> For now, I'll point to this response I made to a similar question on the
> discussion page,[2] but I can elaborate more on this if you'd like.
>
> With thanks,
>
> Jethro
>
> [1] <
>
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Towards_a_New_Wikimania#What_is_the_problem_you.27re_trying_to_solve.3F
> >
>
> [2] <
>
https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Grants_talk:IdeaLab/Towards_a_New_Wikimania/Outcomes=next=15313641
> >
>
> On Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 12:09 PM, Chris Keating 
> wrote:
>
> > Just to add my thoughts on this. I think the whole discussion is quite a
> > novel situation in WMF-Community relations, as we have never dealt with
an
> > issue quite like this before.
> >
> > Firstly the good (and even though this section is shorter, it's just as
> > significant):
> > 1) The WMF is consulting and discussing, not simply doing. This is a
good
> > thing (and hopefully it's possible to agree that it is a good thing,
even
> > if you disagree with the handling of the consultation, or indeed the
> > conclusion reached). If you don't think it's a good thing, please
compare
> > it with say (for instance) the Haifa letter.
> > 2) We do now have a clear statement of what benefits Wikimania brings
the
> > movement, which we didn't have before. Again, this is good. :-)
> >
> > However there are a few areas where I still have some concerns about the
> > direction this is going:
> > 3) I am still really unsure who is owning this process, either within
the
> > WMF or in general. Generally, I think clear responsibility and
> > accountability *eases* difficult conversations and so far as I can tell
> > they are  lacking in the conversation about "what should happen with
> > Wikimania". Is it the WMF's view that Wikimania in its current form is
> > broken and change is needed - if so who represents that view to the
> > community? (Or if not, what *is* the WMF's view?) Equally, I am not
really
> > clear what the Wikimania Committee sees its sees its role as these
days. In
> > general I am all for ad-hoc groups going and doing things but I think we
> > are some way past the limit of that model with Wikimania.
> > 4) I don't see a 55-47 vote on a menu of 3 options as being a
particularly
> > strong indication of community consensus. Indeed, it's pretty clear
there
> > isn't a consensus, and it would be a shame if people proceeded on the
basis
> > that "There was a consultation and the answer was X - so we're doing X".
> > That said, I would be really happy to hear voices from the WMF or the
> > Wikimania Committee saying "The important factors we see are X, Y and Z.
> > From the consultation showed lots of other people were thinking X and Y
> > (though less Z) and P and Q were also important which we hadn't thought
> > about. As a result, we are intending to do: This.
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Chris
> >
> > On 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outcomes from the Consultation on Wikimedia movement conferences/Wikimania

2016-02-18 Thread Chris Keating
Hello Chris (or Jethro)! Thanks for taking time to reply.

> Is it the WMF's view that Wikimania in its current form is
> >
> broken and change is needed - if so who represents that view to the
> > community? (Or if not, what *is* the WMF's view?)
>
>
> It is fair to say that our team does view the past planning process for
> Wikimania (i.e. 2015 and prior) as problematic and not feasible, for the
> reasons described in the consultation itself.[1]

Great. I thought that table of issues was helpful, though wasn't quite
clear whose it was  (so to speak). If the answer is "it's generally the
view of the WMF staff working with this", that is good to know.

> 4) I don't see a 55-47 vote on a menu of 3 options as being a particularly
> > strong indication of community consensus. Indeed, it's pretty clear
there
> > isn't a consensus, and it would be a shame if people proceeded on the
basis
> > that "There was a consultation and the answer was X - so we're doing X".
> > That said, I would be really happy to hear voices from the WMF or the
> > Wikimania Committee saying "The important factors we see are X, Y and Z.
> > From the consultation showed lots of other people were thinking X and Y
> > (though less Z) and P and Q were also important which we hadn't thought
> > about. As a result, we are intending to do: This.
>
>
> For now, I'll point to this response I made to a similar question on the
> discussion page,[2] but I can elaborate more on this if you'd like.

Yes please, that would be helpful!

Chris

>
> [1] <
>
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Towards_a_New_Wikimania#What_is_the_problem_you.27re_trying_to_solve.3F
> >
>
> [2] <
>
https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Grants_talk:IdeaLab/Towards_a_New_Wikimania/Outcomes=next=15313641
> >
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Reducing the net cost of Wikimania

2016-02-18 Thread Sam Klein
That's most helpful, thank you both.

On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:14 PM, Pharos 
wrote:

> Thanks, Ellie and Chris, this historical experience should be very helpful
> for future discussions!
>
> Best,
> Pharos
>
> On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:06 PM, Chris Schilling  >
> wrote:
>
> > Hey folks,
> >
> > Ellie has put together a summarized budget including revenue and expenses
> > from Wikimania 2014 in London[1] and Wikimania 2015[2], which I've gone
> > ahead and posted to the summary pages of these conferences on meta.
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Chris
> >
> > [1] 
> > [2] 
> >
> > On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 1:15 PM, Samuel Klein  wrote:
> >
> > > Itzik writes:
> > >
> > > > If we want to talk about the cost of Wikimania it will be great if
> the
> > > WMF and the local team will share the costs.
> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2014/Budget
> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2015/Budget
> > > > Maybe I missed something, but it's strange that such discussion takes
> > > place without a real budget breakdown.
> > > > To summarize 2 huge event to "1$ million USD" does not make sense.
> > >
> > > Agreed 1million%.  It would be important to see a rough cost
> breakdown, &
> > > compare that to the best-budgeted Wikimanias.
> > >
> > >
> > > On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 9:52 AM, Tomasz Ganicz 
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > 2016-02-10 6:06 GMT+01:00 Samuel Klein :
> > > >
> > > > > FUDCons
> > > >
> > > > Also it is hard to compare Wikimanias with FUDCons as it is
> > > > a) much  smaller (usually bo more than 200 attendees)
> > > > b) divided by regions - for example in 2015 there were 3 FUDCons
> > > > (Argentina, India, Spain) and 2 Flocks (NY and Kraków) -  so they are
> > > > rather like our Iberecop or CEE meetings than the global conferences.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Thanks.  Similar to regional events perhaps, not Wikimania.  Still
> worth
> > > comparing budgets perhaps, if available.
> > >
> > > But I was wondering about the trend over time: whether extensive
> funding
> > > during the RedHat days made the events less useful, in the years after
> > that
> > > funding was reduced.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > > And also Fedora developers have many potential sources of external
> > > funding
> > > > - mainly from IT companies which uses free software and want to apply
> > for
> > > > their specific needs and for whom they quite often work.
> > > >
> > >
> > > True.  But attendees to GLAM or education conferences also tend to have
> > > many potential sources of funding - mainly from archives or educational
> > or
> > > technical companies who curate knowledge or develop education tools.
> And
> > we
> > > have IT industry partners who are similarly willing to support
> > Wikimanias.
> > > Not entirely dissimilar.
> > >
> > >
> > > > But anyway, Fedora offers scholarships for attendees, see:
> > > >
> > >
> > > Yes, wiki conferences should as well - that part of conference funding
> is
> > > important.  Even early Wikimanias with almost no WMF support had
> > > significant scholarship pools.
> > >
> > > S
> > > ___
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > 
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Chris "Jethro" Schilling
> > I JethroBT (WMF) 
> > Community Organizer, Wikimedia Foundation
> > 
> > ___
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> >
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>



-- 
Samuel Klein  @metasj  w:user:sj  +1 617 529 4266
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Craig Franklin
Yaroslav,

You're correct in that most volunteers don't care directly.  The problem is
that a lot of the BoT's recent difficulties have crossed the line from
"angry encyclopedia people venting on a mailing list" to "serious and
negative attention from the mainstream press".  If there is too much of the
latter, it may create a perception amongst the general public than even if
Wikipedia is a useful resource, that it is incompetent with handling
money.  As a result, donations dry up, and difficult and unpleasant choices
have to be made around budget.

So yes, this sort of thing can influence rank and file editors most
seriously, albeit indirectly.

Cheers,
Craig


On 19 February 2016 at 07:52, Yaroslav M. Blanter  wrote:

>
> To be honest, most volunteers do not care. We understand of course that if
> things would go really wrong, for example, servers stop running, or money
> runs out and ads are introduced, or English Wikipedia admins continue
> resigning/being desysopped without proper replacement, so that we have ten
> active admins, then we are in serious trouble. But as far as things are
> running quasi-normal, we just continue. I was making 50 to 100 edits per
> day five years ago, I am making 50 to 100 edits per day now, I will
> probably still be making 50 to 100 edits per day in five years, unless I
> die or leave because of a serious demotivation - and this demotivation is
> unlikely to be related to WMF. I think staff are way more vulnerable to all
> kinds of events.
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Reducing the net cost of Wikimania

2016-02-18 Thread Lodewijk
Thanks, it is a step in the right direction indeed. Although a bit more
breakdown would be helpful, I'm guessing this also highly fluctuates year
by year. Some observations:

A huge amount of money goes into flying WMF around the world (321k resp.
383k), which doesn't even take into account (I'm assuming) all the hours
invested into it.

I'm assuming 'donations' includes sponsorships. That amount is less than I
would have expected/hoped. Registration income is low, as expected (the
burden would just be moved to a different part of our movement: the
community)

'wikimania direct' is quite expensive, to be honest, and much more than I
would have expected. However, it does include catering, which is always an
expensive chunk (5days * 1000 people will even at a quite low 30 dollar per
day easily give 150k, not even counting the parties etc).

Many of these costs would still exist if you split the event up in multiple
events spread out. WMF would still want to fly everywhere (board has to
meet anyway, WMF staff wants to engage anyway, committees have to meet
somewhere), catering won't be much cheaper if spread over multiple events,
and don't underestimate the manpower it would take to organise all those
events - relatively it may be even more.

So looking at these figures, I can agree that it should be possible to do
it for less, I'm less certain though whether the proposed splitting up
would significantly reduce the total costs for everything that is included
here.

Lodewijk



On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:52 PM, Sam Klein  wrote:

> That's most helpful, thank you both.
>
> On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:14 PM, Pharos 
> wrote:
>
> > Thanks, Ellie and Chris, this historical experience should be very
> helpful
> > for future discussions!
> >
> > Best,
> > Pharos
> >
> > On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:06 PM, Chris Schilling <
> cschill...@wikimedia.org
> > >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hey folks,
> > >
> > > Ellie has put together a summarized budget including revenue and
> expenses
> > > from Wikimania 2014 in London[1] and Wikimania 2015[2], which I've gone
> > > ahead and posted to the summary pages of these conferences on meta.
> > >
> > > Thanks,
> > >
> > > Chris
> > >
> > > [1] 
> > > [2] 
> > >
> > > On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 1:15 PM, Samuel Klein 
> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Itzik writes:
> > > >
> > > > > If we want to talk about the cost of Wikimania it will be great if
> > the
> > > > WMF and the local team will share the costs.
> > > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2014/Budget
> > > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2015/Budget
> > > > > Maybe I missed something, but it's strange that such discussion
> takes
> > > > place without a real budget breakdown.
> > > > > To summarize 2 huge event to "1$ million USD" does not make sense.
> > > >
> > > > Agreed 1million%.  It would be important to see a rough cost
> > breakdown, &
> > > > compare that to the best-budgeted Wikimanias.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 9:52 AM, Tomasz Ganicz 
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > 2016-02-10 6:06 GMT+01:00 Samuel Klein :
> > > > >
> > > > > > FUDCons
> > > > >
> > > > > Also it is hard to compare Wikimanias with FUDCons as it is
> > > > > a) much  smaller (usually bo more than 200 attendees)
> > > > > b) divided by regions - for example in 2015 there were 3 FUDCons
> > > > > (Argentina, India, Spain) and 2 Flocks (NY and Kraków) -  so they
> are
> > > > > rather like our Iberecop or CEE meetings than the global
> conferences.
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > Thanks.  Similar to regional events perhaps, not Wikimania.  Still
> > worth
> > > > comparing budgets perhaps, if available.
> > > >
> > > > But I was wondering about the trend over time: whether extensive
> > funding
> > > > during the RedHat days made the events less useful, in the years
> after
> > > that
> > > > funding was reduced.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > > And also Fedora developers have many potential sources of external
> > > > funding
> > > > > - mainly from IT companies which uses free software and want to
> apply
> > > for
> > > > > their specific needs and for whom they quite often work.
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > True.  But attendees to GLAM or education conferences also tend to
> have
> > > > many potential sources of funding - mainly from archives or
> educational
> > > or
> > > > technical companies who curate knowledge or develop education tools.
> > And
> > > we
> > > > have IT industry partners who are similarly willing to support
> > > Wikimanias.
> > > > Not entirely dissimilar.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > > But anyway, Fedora offers scholarships for attendees, see:
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > Yes, wiki conferences should as well - that part of conference
> funding
> > is
> > > > important.  Even early Wikimanias with almost 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Yury Bulka
There are certain things that affect many volunteers
directly. A slightly off-topic example:
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T59608#1637250

The fact that:
> "the WMF education team has no engineering resources"

...affects volunteers.

Sincerely,
Yury Bulka
(Wikimedia Ukraine)

Craig Franklin  writes:

> Yaroslav,
>
> You're correct in that most volunteers don't care directly.  The problem is
> that a lot of the BoT's recent difficulties have crossed the line from
> "angry encyclopedia people venting on a mailing list" to "serious and
> negative attention from the mainstream press".  If there is too much of the
> latter, it may create a perception amongst the general public than even if
> Wikipedia is a useful resource, that it is incompetent with handling
> money.  As a result, donations dry up, and difficult and unpleasant choices
> have to be made around budget.
>
> So yes, this sort of thing can influence rank and file editors most
> seriously, albeit indirectly.
>
> Cheers,
> Craig
>
>
> On 19 February 2016 at 07:52, Yaroslav M. Blanter  wrote:
>
>>
>> To be honest, most volunteers do not care. We understand of course that if
>> things would go really wrong, for example, servers stop running, or money
>> runs out and ads are introduced, or English Wikipedia admins continue
>> resigning/being desysopped without proper replacement, so that we have ten
>> active admins, then we are in serious trouble. But as far as things are
>> running quasi-normal, we just continue. I was making 50 to 100 edits per
>> day five years ago, I am making 50 to 100 edits per day now, I will
>> probably still be making 50 to 100 edits per day in five years, unless I
>> die or leave because of a serious demotivation - and this demotivation is
>> unlikely to be related to WMF. I think staff are way more vulnerable to all
>> kinds of events.
>>
> ___
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Reducing the net cost of Wikimania

2016-02-18 Thread Gnangarra
The first thing that happens when you split up something like Wikimania in
multiple events is you multiple the cost of WMF attendance because they
need to deliver the same messages multiple times, an alternative decision
to restrict who goes where you run into the issue of regions being treated
differently or even getting a different message. Add to that the BoT would
need to also attend multiple events in some form and other committees will
still need to meet somewhere as well as have a presence at each event.

So what happens do we then say well since it'll be divisive to attend only
some of the meetings WMF and BoT dont attend any that makes them more
isolated from the wider community than they already are.  Wkikmania may be
expensive exercise and draw on a lot of resources but going smaller wont
logically create combined cheaper outcomes.

On 19 February 2016 at 07:19, Lodewijk  wrote:

> Thanks, it is a step in the right direction indeed. Although a bit more
> breakdown would be helpful, I'm guessing this also highly fluctuates year
> by year. Some observations:
>
> A huge amount of money goes into flying WMF around the world (321k resp.
> 383k), which doesn't even take into account (I'm assuming) all the hours
> invested into it.
>
> I'm assuming 'donations' includes sponsorships. That amount is less than I
> would have expected/hoped. Registration income is low, as expected (the
> burden would just be moved to a different part of our movement: the
> community)
>
> 'wikimania direct' is quite expensive, to be honest, and much more than I
> would have expected. However, it does include catering, which is always an
> expensive chunk (5days * 1000 people will even at a quite low 30 dollar per
> day easily give 150k, not even counting the parties etc).
>
> Many of these costs would still exist if you split the event up in multiple
> events spread out. WMF would still want to fly everywhere (board has to
> meet anyway, WMF staff wants to engage anyway, committees have to meet
> somewhere), catering won't be much cheaper if spread over multiple events,
> and don't underestimate the manpower it would take to organise all those
> events - relatively it may be even more.
>
> So looking at these figures, I can agree that it should be possible to do
> it for less, I'm less certain though whether the proposed splitting up
> would significantly reduce the total costs for everything that is included
> here.
>
> Lodewijk
>
>
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:52 PM, Sam Klein 
> wrote:
>
> > That's most helpful, thank you both.
> >
> > On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:14 PM, Pharos 
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Thanks, Ellie and Chris, this historical experience should be very
> > helpful
> > > for future discussions!
> > >
> > > Best,
> > > Pharos
> > >
> > > On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:06 PM, Chris Schilling <
> > cschill...@wikimedia.org
> > > >
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Hey folks,
> > > >
> > > > Ellie has put together a summarized budget including revenue and
> > expenses
> > > > from Wikimania 2014 in London[1] and Wikimania 2015[2], which I've
> gone
> > > > ahead and posted to the summary pages of these conferences on meta.
> > > >
> > > > Thanks,
> > > >
> > > > Chris
> > > >
> > > > [1] 
> > > > [2] 
> > > >
> > > > On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 1:15 PM, Samuel Klein 
> > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Itzik writes:
> > > > >
> > > > > > If we want to talk about the cost of Wikimania it will be great
> if
> > > the
> > > > > WMF and the local team will share the costs.
> > > > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2014/Budget
> > > > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2015/Budget
> > > > > > Maybe I missed something, but it's strange that such discussion
> > takes
> > > > > place without a real budget breakdown.
> > > > > > To summarize 2 huge event to "1$ million USD" does not make
> sense.
> > > > >
> > > > > Agreed 1million%.  It would be important to see a rough cost
> > > breakdown, &
> > > > > compare that to the best-budgeted Wikimanias.
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 9:52 AM, Tomasz Ganicz <
> polime...@gmail.com>
> > > > > wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > 2016-02-10 6:06 GMT+01:00 Samuel Klein :
> > > > > >
> > > > > > > FUDCons
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Also it is hard to compare Wikimanias with FUDCons as it is
> > > > > > a) much  smaller (usually bo more than 200 attendees)
> > > > > > b) divided by regions - for example in 2015 there were 3 FUDCons
> > > > > > (Argentina, India, Spain) and 2 Flocks (NY and Kraków) -  so they
> > are
> > > > > > rather like our Iberecop or CEE meetings than the global
> > conferences.
> > > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > Thanks.  Similar to regional events perhaps, not Wikimania.  Still
> > > worth
> > > > > comparing budgets perhaps, if 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Reducing the net cost of Wikimania

2016-02-18 Thread Risker
I mostly agree with a lot of the thoughts here about whether or not it
would be more cost effective to do one event or multiple events, at least
organizationally.

There are two things that cross my mind when we talk about this:

First, maybe one of the bigger drivers of cost is the time of year when we
are holding these events.  June-July-August is the most expensive period
for just about everywhere in the world; March, April, September and October
tend to be much less expensive in lodging, travel and direct conference
costs.  Maybe we need to rethink *when* we are holding Wikimania as much as
anything else.

Secondly, while there are some pretty well articulated disadvantages to
holding separate conferences, it is far more likely that Wikimedians who
have to pay their own way (the majority of attendees, incidentally - and
almost all from "Western" countries) will be able to attend a regional
conference than an international one. The same scholarship dollars go much
further, and so on. In a lot of cases, governmental travel restrictions are
significantly lessened as well.  This is something that those of us in
Europe and North America easily forget - we rarely have to obtain visas and
we generally have far more disposable income to attend these events.

Risker/Anne





On 18 February 2016 at 19:04, Gnangarra  wrote:

> The first thing that happens when you split up something like Wikimania in
> multiple events is you multiple the cost of WMF attendance because they
> need to deliver the same messages multiple times, an alternative decision
> to restrict who goes where you run into the issue of regions being treated
> differently or even getting a different message. Add to that the BoT would
> need to also attend multiple events in some form and other committees will
> still need to meet somewhere as well as have a presence at each event.
>
> So what happens do we then say well since it'll be divisive to attend only
> some of the meetings WMF and BoT dont attend any that makes them more
> isolated from the wider community than they already are.  Wkikmania may be
> expensive exercise and draw on a lot of resources but going smaller wont
> logically create combined cheaper outcomes.
>
> On 19 February 2016 at 07:19, Lodewijk 
> wrote:
>
> > Thanks, it is a step in the right direction indeed. Although a bit more
> > breakdown would be helpful, I'm guessing this also highly fluctuates year
> > by year. Some observations:
> >
> > A huge amount of money goes into flying WMF around the world (321k resp.
> > 383k), which doesn't even take into account (I'm assuming) all the hours
> > invested into it.
> >
> > I'm assuming 'donations' includes sponsorships. That amount is less than
> I
> > would have expected/hoped. Registration income is low, as expected (the
> > burden would just be moved to a different part of our movement: the
> > community)
> >
> > 'wikimania direct' is quite expensive, to be honest, and much more than I
> > would have expected. However, it does include catering, which is always
> an
> > expensive chunk (5days * 1000 people will even at a quite low 30 dollar
> per
> > day easily give 150k, not even counting the parties etc).
> >
> > Many of these costs would still exist if you split the event up in
> multiple
> > events spread out. WMF would still want to fly everywhere (board has to
> > meet anyway, WMF staff wants to engage anyway, committees have to meet
> > somewhere), catering won't be much cheaper if spread over multiple
> events,
> > and don't underestimate the manpower it would take to organise all those
> > events - relatively it may be even more.
> >
> > So looking at these figures, I can agree that it should be possible to do
> > it for less, I'm less certain though whether the proposed splitting up
> > would significantly reduce the total costs for everything that is
> included
> > here.
> >
> > Lodewijk
> >
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:52 PM, Sam Klein 
> > wrote:
> >
> > > That's most helpful, thank you both.
> > >
> > > On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:14 PM, Pharos 
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Thanks, Ellie and Chris, this historical experience should be very
> > > helpful
> > > > for future discussions!
> > > >
> > > > Best,
> > > > Pharos
> > > >
> > > > On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:06 PM, Chris Schilling <
> > > cschill...@wikimedia.org
> > > > >
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Hey folks,
> > > > >
> > > > > Ellie has put together a summarized budget including revenue and
> > > expenses
> > > > > from Wikimania 2014 in London[1] and Wikimania 2015[2], which I've
> > gone
> > > > > ahead and posted to the summary pages of these conferences on meta.
> > > > >
> > > > > Thanks,
> > > > >
> > > > > Chris
> > > > >
> > > > > [1] 
> > > > > [2] 
> > > > >
> > > > > On Wed, Feb 10, 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [discovery] USA elections in real time - as viewed by Wikipedia users

2016-02-18 Thread Tomasz Finc
This is going to be a fun one to watch over the next many months.
Thank for the link Yuri

On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 8:48 PM, Yuri Astrakhan
 wrote:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Yurik/US_Politics_Real_Time
>
> Thanks Dario Taraborelli for the idea.
>
> ___
> discovery mailing list
> discov...@lists.wikimedia.org
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/discovery
>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Reducing the net cost of Wikimania

2016-02-18 Thread Marc A. Pelletier

On 2016-02-18 7:18 PM, Risker wrote:

June-July-August is the most expensive period
for just about everywhere in the world; March, April, September and October
tend to be much less expensive in lodging, travel and direct conference
costs.  Maybe we need to rethink*when*  we are holding Wikimania as much as
anything else.


That is true, and availability of venues etc would be greatly increased.

The flipside, however, is that those months are not ones where 
*availability* for travel are high.  Most schools/universities are in 
session, and employed participants (those most likely to have disposable 
income to travel) are generally less able to take time off they those 
months fall outside the general "summer vacation" period [at least in 
the Northern Hemisphere].


It's not clear to me that a cheaper event fewer people are able to 
attend is preferable.


-- Marc

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Reducing the net cost of Wikimania

2016-02-18 Thread Samuel Klein
Chris & Ellie:  I don't think I would include 'WMF Travel/Accomodation' or
general Wikimedia PR in the Wikimania overhead.
  * Staff have a budget for travel to events of all kinds; the Board has a
budget for its meetings wherever they are held; and similarly the few
committees that meet in person have a budget for those meetings.
  * The fact that these things happen to take place at Wikimania is, if
anything, a slight cost savings: some of the logistics of scheduling and
finding venues can be shared, it allows coordinating press events, 


Lodewijk, I agree: we should be able to find ways to limit direct expenses,
and increase sponsorships.  We could also increase the number of people who
benefit from scholarships, or are otherwise able to attend.

Focusing on direct expenses from recent Wikimanias:
* 2014 budget:  $250K revenue + a $150K WMF grant.  Actual: $280K revenue,
needed $320K from WMF to cover direct expenses
* 2015 budget:  $150K revenue + a $300K WMF grant.  Actual: $100K revenue,
needed $380K from WMF to cover direct expenses
* 2016 budget:  $290K? revenue + a $250K WMF grant.

Itzik, what were the equivalent budgets for Haifa?  From the post-mortem on
Meta it looks like a $280K budget, and a $100K WMF grant. This included
paying for the event coordinator, which is now budgeted separately. That
was for the finest event one could hope for.


Lodewijk writes:
> 'wikimania direct' is quite expensive, to be honest, and much more than I
> would have expected. However, it does include catering, which is always
> an expensive chunk...

Registration fees should at least cover the marginal cost of the event:
catering & materials per person.


> looking at these figures, I can agree that it should be possible to do it
for
> less, I'm less certain though whether the proposed splitting up would
> significantly reduce the total costs for everything that is included here.

The greater part of money spent on attending Wikimania is the out-of-pocket
cost of flights and hotels.  The cost of this for non-local attendees is
10-50x the cost of registration.  Running many simultaneous local events
has a greater total budget, if you look only at the budgets of the
organizers; but a much lower cost per person.  There are many more options
for free venues and low-cost lodging when you're not scrambling to fit 1000
people in a small region of a city.  And a smaller fraction of money spent
goes towards jet fuel.

For this reason, the same pool of scholarship funds would go farther.

Finally, I don't think we should oversell the current Wikimania as a
universal connector.  I too want there to be a community thing that builds
interpersonal connections and is accessible to every community member at
low cost.  But that thing cannot be a $2,000-net-cost week-long
conference.  Many people could never attend such an event, even if it were
free.  It is a long time commitment, and is inevitably mono or bilingual.

Sam
(who loves the current Wikimanias, and thinks they should continue! but
doesn't think they are the pinnacle of what movement-gatherings could be)


On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 5:52 PM, Sam Klein  wrote:

> That's most helpful, thank you both.
>
> On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:14 PM, Pharos 
> wrote:
>
>> Thanks, Ellie and Chris, this historical experience should be very helpful
>> for future discussions!
>>
>> Best,
>> Pharos
>>
>> On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:06 PM, Chris Schilling <
>> cschill...@wikimedia.org>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > Hey folks,
>> >
>> > Ellie has put together a summarized budget including revenue and
>> expenses
>> > from Wikimania 2014 in London[1] and Wikimania 2015[2], which I've gone
>> > ahead and posted to the summary pages of these conferences on meta.
>> >
>> > Thanks,
>> >
>> > Chris
>> >
>> > [1] 
>> > [2] 
>> >
>> > On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 1:15 PM, Samuel Klein 
>> wrote:
>> >
>> > > Itzik writes:
>> > >
>> > > > If we want to talk about the cost of Wikimania it will be great if
>> the
>> > > WMF and the local team will share the costs.
>> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2014/Budget
>> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2015/Budget
>> > > > Maybe I missed something, but it's strange that such discussion
>> takes
>> > > place without a real budget breakdown.
>> > > > To summarize 2 huge event to "1$ million USD" does not make sense.
>> > >
>> > > Agreed 1million%.  It would be important to see a rough cost
>> breakdown, &
>> > > compare that to the best-budgeted Wikimanias.
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 9:52 AM, Tomasz Ganicz 
>> > > wrote:
>> > >
>> > > > 2016-02-10 6:06 GMT+01:00 Samuel Klein :
>> > > >
>> > > > > FUDCons
>> > > >
>> > > > Also it is hard to compare Wikimanias with FUDCons as it is
>> > > > a) much  smaller (usually bo more than 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Shani
Yury, this is a very important example, but indeed off-topic. It deserves a
separate thread, but not before addressing the current main crisis, which
all others stem from.

At this point, it is inconceivable that there is still such a "disconnect"
between what WMF employees & volunteers accross the movement are saying,
and what the BoT is thinking, saying & doing.

There have been repeated requests for engagement & action from the BoT,
both on and off this list. The first step in that direction has to be to
openly admit something is wrong, as Asaf rightly noted on this list no so
long ago. It takes courage to look the truth in the face and admit
mistakes. And itcll be hard for a while. But it has to be done and it's
worth the effort if we want to move forward positively.

Like others, I believe this is the biggest crisis, crossroad, challenge
(call it what you will), we have ever faced as a movement. But as wise
people said, crisis also offers new opportunities and gifts, if confronted.

We have to fix this disconnect before we go on "fixing the internet".

And I wonder -- what else has to happen for the BoT to realize what both
community and employees are saying for months now, embrace it and act on it.

Respectfully,
Shani.
On 19 Feb 2016 01:46, "Yury Bulka"  wrote:

> There are certain things that affect many volunteers
> directly. A slightly off-topic example:
> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T59608#1637250
>
> The fact that:
> > "the WMF education team has no engineering resources"
>
> ...affects volunteers.
>
> Sincerely,
> Yury Bulka
> (Wikimedia Ukraine)
>
> Craig Franklin  writes:
>
> > Yaroslav,
> >
> > You're correct in that most volunteers don't care directly.  The problem
> is
> > that a lot of the BoT's recent difficulties have crossed the line from
> > "angry encyclopedia people venting on a mailing list" to "serious and
> > negative attention from the mainstream press".  If there is too much of
> the
> > latter, it may create a perception amongst the general public than even
> if
> > Wikipedia is a useful resource, that it is incompetent with handling
> > money.  As a result, donations dry up, and difficult and unpleasant
> choices
> > have to be made around budget.
> >
> > So yes, this sort of thing can influence rank and file editors most
> > seriously, albeit indirectly.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Craig
> >
> >
> > On 19 February 2016 at 07:52, Yaroslav M. Blanter 
> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> To be honest, most volunteers do not care. We understand of course that
> if
> >> things would go really wrong, for example, servers stop running, or
> money
> >> runs out and ads are introduced, or English Wikipedia admins continue
> >> resigning/being desysopped without proper replacement, so that we have
> ten
> >> active admins, then we are in serious trouble. But as far as things are
> >> running quasi-normal, we just continue. I was making 50 to 100 edits per
> >> day five years ago, I am making 50 to 100 edits per day now, I will
> >> probably still be making 50 to 100 edits per day in five years, unless I
> >> die or leave because of a serious demotivation - and this demotivation
> is
> >> unlikely to be related to WMF. I think staff are way more vulnerable to
> all
> >> kinds of events.
> >>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Call for Candidates - Affiliate Selected members of the WMF Board

2016-02-18 Thread Samuel Klein
Dear Chris and all,

What sorts of candidates are you looking for?  How are you directing your
search / how can we best help get the word to people who might be good
candidates?  What do you see as the skills or other qualities the a Trustee
needs, or that would be effective on the Board?

The FAQ says little about nominations, and the nomination form is also
extremely generic.  Given the current difficulties around strategy &
governance, more detail seems called for.

Warmly,
Sam

On Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 4:29 AM, Chris Keating 
wrote:

> Dear Wikimedia friends,
>
> **Call for Nominations - Affiliate Selected Board Seats**
>
> This year the Wikimedia chapters and Thematic Organisations will select two
> members of the Wikimedia Foundation Board.
>
> We would like to invite nominations for candidates to be elected to the WMF
> board in this process.  Please help us by distributing this call for
> candidates as widely as possible through such forums as mailing lists,
> village pumps, and blogs.
>
> *Role of WMF Board members*
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation board provide governance and strategic oversight
> of the WMF. The role of Wikimedia Foundation board members is set out in
> detail here: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_member
>
> Successful candidates will bring expertise and understanding to help the
> Board further its goals and ability to work effectively at a strategic and
> governance level. The work of the Board is conducted in English (though
> fluency in additional languages is an advantage) and the role involves a
> significant commitment, including travel to several in-person meetings in
> California or worldwide.
>
> *Nominations and selection process*
>
> Nominations should be posted using this form on Meta-Wiki:
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations
>
> If you need assistance completing the wiki-template, please contact one of
> the election facilitators who will be happy to assist.
>
> Nominations are open until the end of 8 March 2016 (midnight UTC). To be
> entered into the ballot, a candidate's nomination must be accompanied by a
> statement of support from a Chapter or Thematic Organisation, which may
> accompany the nomination or be received no later than 22 March 2016.
>
> The timeline for the selection process can be seen here:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016
>
> There is also a selection FAQ here:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats_election_FAQ
>
>  Many thanks,
>
> Chris Keating
> Lorenzo Losa
> Lane Rasberry
> - Election Facilitators
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> 
>
> --
> Samuel Klein  @metasj   w:user:sj  +1 617 529 4266
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Call for Candidates - Affiliate Selected members of the WMF Board

2016-02-18 Thread Lane Rasberry
SJ,

Can you please contact any Wikimedia chapter and ask them to request
nominations?

There are two criteria for nominations - one is that their name has to be
posted on the nomination page, and the other is that a Wikimedia chapter
has to support their nomination.
<
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations
>

Get any chapter to make any request for whatever kind of person they would
nominate, then maybe they can call for whatever they want.

Going into more detail - the traditional duties of a board member are that
they approve the annual budget and oversee an organization's executive
director. That could mean anything, but such as it is, this is the role
description.

The election belongs to the chapters. My request would be that anyone get
chapters engaged in any way possible, from discussing nominations, to
talking now about what kind of person they would elect, to planning
questions to ask before and during the election, and to plan how to choose
how each organizations vote will be cast in such a way that it reflects the
desire of chapter members.

All Wikimedia chapters are encouraged to request the involvement of all
other Wikimedia chapters in this election. 2 of 10 seats of the board of
trustees will be chosen.

Ask questions everywhere. This is a wiki election and should proceed in
wiki style.

yours,



On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 8:48 PM, Samuel Klein  wrote:

> Dear Chris and all,
>
> What sorts of candidates are you looking for?  How are you directing your
> search / how can we best help get the word to people who might be good
> candidates?  What do you see as the skills or other qualities the a Trustee
> needs, or that would be effective on the Board?
>
> The FAQ says little about nominations, and the nomination form is also
> extremely generic.  Given the current difficulties around strategy &
> governance, more detail seems called for.
>
> Warmly,
> Sam
>
> On Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 4:29 AM, Chris Keating 
> wrote:
>
> > Dear Wikimedia friends,
> >
> > **Call for Nominations - Affiliate Selected Board Seats**
> >
> > This year the Wikimedia chapters and Thematic Organisations will select
> two
> > members of the Wikimedia Foundation Board.
> >
> > We would like to invite nominations for candidates to be elected to the
> WMF
> > board in this process.  Please help us by distributing this call for
> > candidates as widely as possible through such forums as mailing lists,
> > village pumps, and blogs.
> >
> > *Role of WMF Board members*
> >
> > The Wikimedia Foundation board provide governance and strategic oversight
> > of the WMF. The role of Wikimedia Foundation board members is set out in
> > detail here: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_member
> >
> > Successful candidates will bring expertise and understanding to help the
> > Board further its goals and ability to work effectively at a strategic
> and
> > governance level. The work of the Board is conducted in English (though
> > fluency in additional languages is an advantage) and the role involves a
> > significant commitment, including travel to several in-person meetings in
> > California or worldwide.
> >
> > *Nominations and selection process*
> >
> > Nominations should be posted using this form on Meta-Wiki:
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations
> >
> > If you need assistance completing the wiki-template, please contact one
> of
> > the election facilitators who will be happy to assist.
> >
> > Nominations are open until the end of 8 March 2016 (midnight UTC). To be
> > entered into the ballot, a candidate's nomination must be accompanied by
> a
> > statement of support from a Chapter or Thematic Organisation, which may
> > accompany the nomination or be received no later than 22 March 2016.
> >
> > The timeline for the selection process can be seen here:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016
> >
> > There is also a selection FAQ here:
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats_election_FAQ
> >
> >  Many thanks,
> >
> > Chris Keating
> > Lorenzo Losa
> > Lane Rasberry
> > - Election Facilitators
> > ___
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > 
> >
> > --
> > Samuel Klein  @metasj   w:user:sj  +1 617 529
> 4266
> >
> >
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Call for Candidates - Affiliate Selected members of the WMF Board

2016-02-18 Thread Risker
Hmm, Lane, I think you may be missing SJ's point.  He's asking what the
group that is going to select candidates has put on its wishlist for
candidates.  What skills are they seeking?  Are they looking for a certain
geographic representation?  The "traditional duties of a board member" that
you have described aren't even in line with the duties of a WMF board
member (WMF has greater duties and responsibilities); but that isn't what
SJ is asking either.  He's asking about what kind of candidates chapters
are looking for.

Are they looking for someone with a track record within the movement?  Are
they looking for someone with experience in an executive position in a
large movement organization?  Are they looking for people with proven
leadership skills inside or outside the movement?  Are there significant
variations in what each chapter values, or is there some element of
consensus already?

That's what SJ is asking.

Really...the chapters won't benefit from having a bunch of candidates who
have little experience or few skills. The requirement that a chapter
support a candidate isn't all that high a bar, there are a lot of chapters
after all, and some of them see things from a very different perspective
than others.

Risker/Anne



On 18 February 2016 at 21:04, Lane Rasberry  wrote:

> SJ,
>
> Can you please contact any Wikimedia chapter and ask them to request
> nominations?
>
> There are two criteria for nominations - one is that their name has to be
> posted on the nomination page, and the other is that a Wikimedia chapter
> has to support their nomination.
> <
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations
> >
>
> Get any chapter to make any request for whatever kind of person they would
> nominate, then maybe they can call for whatever they want.
>
> Going into more detail - the traditional duties of a board member are that
> they approve the annual budget and oversee an organization's executive
> director. That could mean anything, but such as it is, this is the role
> description.
>
> The election belongs to the chapters. My request would be that anyone get
> chapters engaged in any way possible, from discussing nominations, to
> talking now about what kind of person they would elect, to planning
> questions to ask before and during the election, and to plan how to choose
> how each organizations vote will be cast in such a way that it reflects the
> desire of chapter members.
>
> All Wikimedia chapters are encouraged to request the involvement of all
> other Wikimedia chapters in this election. 2 of 10 seats of the board of
> trustees will be chosen.
>
> Ask questions everywhere. This is a wiki election and should proceed in
> wiki style.
>
> yours,
>
>
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 8:48 PM, Samuel Klein  wrote:
>
> > Dear Chris and all,
> >
> > What sorts of candidates are you looking for?  How are you directing your
> > search / how can we best help get the word to people who might be good
> > candidates?  What do you see as the skills or other qualities the a
> Trustee
> > needs, or that would be effective on the Board?
> >
> > The FAQ says little about nominations, and the nomination form is also
> > extremely generic.  Given the current difficulties around strategy &
> > governance, more detail seems called for.
> >
> > Warmly,
> > Sam
> >
> > On Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 4:29 AM, Chris Keating <
> chriskeatingw...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Dear Wikimedia friends,
> > >
> > > **Call for Nominations - Affiliate Selected Board Seats**
> > >
> > > This year the Wikimedia chapters and Thematic Organisations will select
> > two
> > > members of the Wikimedia Foundation Board.
> > >
> > > We would like to invite nominations for candidates to be elected to the
> > WMF
> > > board in this process.  Please help us by distributing this call for
> > > candidates as widely as possible through such forums as mailing lists,
> > > village pumps, and blogs.
> > >
> > > *Role of WMF Board members*
> > >
> > > The Wikimedia Foundation board provide governance and strategic
> oversight
> > > of the WMF. The role of Wikimedia Foundation board members is set out
> in
> > > detail here: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_member
> > >
> > > Successful candidates will bring expertise and understanding to help
> the
> > > Board further its goals and ability to work effectively at a strategic
> > and
> > > governance level. The work of the Board is conducted in English (though
> > > fluency in additional languages is an advantage) and the role involves
> a
> > > significant commitment, including travel to several in-person meetings
> in
> > > California or worldwide.
> > >
> > > *Nominations and selection process*
> > >
> > > Nominations should be posted using this form on Meta-Wiki:
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations
> > >
> > > If you need assistance completing the 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Reducing the net cost of Wikimania

2016-02-18 Thread Leigh Thelmadatter
I have to disagree. money for WMF employee attendance is still WMF money... 
still coming from donations.
I find it very interesting that so much more is spent on employee attendance 
then volunteer attendance.


> From: meta...@gmail.com
> Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 20:06:28 -0500
> To: wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Reducing the net cost of Wikimania
> 
> Chris & Ellie:  I don't think I would include 'WMF Travel/Accomodation' or
> general Wikimedia PR in the Wikimania overhead.
>   * Staff have a budget for travel to events of all kinds; the Board has a
> budget for its meetings wherever they are held; and similarly the few
> committees that meet in person have a budget for those meetings.
>   * The fact that these things happen to take place at Wikimania is, if
> anything, a slight cost savings: some of the logistics of scheduling and
> finding venues can be shared, it allows coordinating press events, 
> 
> 
> Lodewijk, I agree: we should be able to find ways to limit direct expenses,
> and increase sponsorships.  We could also increase the number of people who
> benefit from scholarships, or are otherwise able to attend.
> 
> Focusing on direct expenses from recent Wikimanias:
> * 2014 budget:  $250K revenue + a $150K WMF grant.  Actual: $280K revenue,
> needed $320K from WMF to cover direct expenses
> * 2015 budget:  $150K revenue + a $300K WMF grant.  Actual: $100K revenue,
> needed $380K from WMF to cover direct expenses
> * 2016 budget:  $290K? revenue + a $250K WMF grant.
> 
> Itzik, what were the equivalent budgets for Haifa?  From the post-mortem on
> Meta it looks like a $280K budget, and a $100K WMF grant. This included
> paying for the event coordinator, which is now budgeted separately. That
> was for the finest event one could hope for.
> 
> 
> Lodewijk writes:
> > 'wikimania direct' is quite expensive, to be honest, and much more than I
> > would have expected. However, it does include catering, which is always
> > an expensive chunk...
> 
> Registration fees should at least cover the marginal cost of the event:
> catering & materials per person.
> 
> 
> > looking at these figures, I can agree that it should be possible to do it
> for
> > less, I'm less certain though whether the proposed splitting up would
> > significantly reduce the total costs for everything that is included here.
> 
> The greater part of money spent on attending Wikimania is the out-of-pocket
> cost of flights and hotels.  The cost of this for non-local attendees is
> 10-50x the cost of registration.  Running many simultaneous local events
> has a greater total budget, if you look only at the budgets of the
> organizers; but a much lower cost per person.  There are many more options
> for free venues and low-cost lodging when you're not scrambling to fit 1000
> people in a small region of a city.  And a smaller fraction of money spent
> goes towards jet fuel.
> 
> For this reason, the same pool of scholarship funds would go farther.
> 
> Finally, I don't think we should oversell the current Wikimania as a
> universal connector.  I too want there to be a community thing that builds
> interpersonal connections and is accessible to every community member at
> low cost.  But that thing cannot be a $2,000-net-cost week-long
> conference.  Many people could never attend such an event, even if it were
> free.  It is a long time commitment, and is inevitably mono or bilingual.
> 
> Sam
> (who loves the current Wikimanias, and thinks they should continue! but
> doesn't think they are the pinnacle of what movement-gatherings could be)
> 
> 
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 5:52 PM, Sam Klein  wrote:
> 
> > That's most helpful, thank you both.
> >
> > On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:14 PM, Pharos 
> > wrote:
> >
> >> Thanks, Ellie and Chris, this historical experience should be very helpful
> >> for future discussions!
> >>
> >> Best,
> >> Pharos
> >>
> >> On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 5:06 PM, Chris Schilling <
> >> cschill...@wikimedia.org>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> > Hey folks,
> >> >
> >> > Ellie has put together a summarized budget including revenue and
> >> expenses
> >> > from Wikimania 2014 in London[1] and Wikimania 2015[2], which I've gone
> >> > ahead and posted to the summary pages of these conferences on meta.
> >> >
> >> > Thanks,
> >> >
> >> > Chris
> >> >
> >> > [1] 
> >> > [2] 
> >> >
> >> > On Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 1:15 PM, Samuel Klein 
> >> wrote:
> >> >
> >> > > Itzik writes:
> >> > >
> >> > > > If we want to talk about the cost of Wikimania it will be great if
> >> the
> >> > > WMF and the local team will share the costs.
> >> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2014/Budget
> >> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania_2015/Budget
> >> > > > Maybe I missed something, but it's strange that such discussion
> >> takes
> 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Sydney Poore
Hi Shani,

Thanks for your post to the mailing list. I appreciate your comments
directed at the BoT.

Hopefully the collective voices will make an impact.
Warm regards,
Sydney Poore
User:FloNight
Wikipedian in Residence
at Cochrane Collaboration


On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 8:37 PM, Shani  wrote:
> Yury, this is a very important example, but indeed off-topic. It deserves a
> separate thread, but not before addressing the current main crisis, which
> all others stem from.
>
> At this point, it is inconceivable that there is still such a "disconnect"
> between what WMF employees & volunteers accross the movement are saying,
> and what the BoT is thinking, saying & doing.
>
> There have been repeated requests for engagement & action from the BoT,
> both on and off this list. The first step in that direction has to be to
> openly admit something is wrong, as Asaf rightly noted on this list no so
> long ago. It takes courage to look the truth in the face and admit
> mistakes. And itcll be hard for a while. But it has to be done and it's
> worth the effort if we want to move forward positively.
>
> Like others, I believe this is the biggest crisis, crossroad, challenge
> (call it what you will), we have ever faced as a movement. But as wise
> people said, crisis also offers new opportunities and gifts, if confronted.
>
> We have to fix this disconnect before we go on "fixing the internet".
>
> And I wonder -- what else has to happen for the BoT to realize what both
> community and employees are saying for months now, embrace it and act on it.
>
> Respectfully,
> Shani.
> On 19 Feb 2016 01:46, "Yury Bulka"  wrote:
>
>> There are certain things that affect many volunteers
>> directly. A slightly off-topic example:
>> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T59608#1637250
>>
>> The fact that:
>> > "the WMF education team has no engineering resources"
>>
>> ...affects volunteers.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> Yury Bulka
>> (Wikimedia Ukraine)
>>
>> Craig Franklin  writes:
>>
>> > Yaroslav,
>> >
>> > You're correct in that most volunteers don't care directly.  The problem
>> is
>> > that a lot of the BoT's recent difficulties have crossed the line from
>> > "angry encyclopedia people venting on a mailing list" to "serious and
>> > negative attention from the mainstream press".  If there is too much of
>> the
>> > latter, it may create a perception amongst the general public than even
>> if
>> > Wikipedia is a useful resource, that it is incompetent with handling
>> > money.  As a result, donations dry up, and difficult and unpleasant
>> choices
>> > have to be made around budget.
>> >
>> > So yes, this sort of thing can influence rank and file editors most
>> > seriously, albeit indirectly.
>> >
>> > Cheers,
>> > Craig
>> >
>> >
>> > On 19 February 2016 at 07:52, Yaroslav M. Blanter 
>> wrote:
>> >
>> >>
>> >> To be honest, most volunteers do not care. We understand of course that
>> if
>> >> things would go really wrong, for example, servers stop running, or
>> money
>> >> runs out and ads are introduced, or English Wikipedia admins continue
>> >> resigning/being desysopped without proper replacement, so that we have
>> ten
>> >> active admins, then we are in serious trouble. But as far as things are
>> >> running quasi-normal, we just continue. I was making 50 to 100 edits per
>> >> day five years ago, I am making 50 to 100 edits per day now, I will
>> >> probably still be making 50 to 100 edits per day in five years, unless I
>> >> die or leave because of a serious demotivation - and this demotivation
>> is
>> >> unlikely to be related to WMF. I think staff are way more vulnerable to
>> all
>> >> kinds of events.
>> >>
>> > ___
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>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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>> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> > 
>>
>>
>>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Outcomes from the Consultation on Wikimedia movement conferences/Wikimania

2016-02-18 Thread Chris "Jethro" Schilling
>
> > 4) I don't see a 55-47 vote on a menu of 3 options as being a
> particularly
> > > strong indication of community consensus. Indeed, it's pretty clear
> there
> > > isn't a consensus, and it would be a shame if people proceeded on the
> basis
> > > that "There was a consultation and the answer was X - so we're doing
> X".
> > > That said, I would be really happy to hear voices from the WMF or the
> > > Wikimania Committee saying "The important factors we see are X, Y and
> Z.
> > > From the consultation showed lots of other people were thinking X and Y
> > > (though less Z) and P and Q were also important which we hadn't thought
> > > about. As a result, we are intending to do: This.
> >
> >
> > For now, I'll point to this response I made to a similar question on the
> > discussion page,[2] but I can elaborate more on this if you'd like.
>
> Yes please, that would be helpful!


Certainly!  The feedback our team reviewed from participants indicated a
few important factors supporting the conclusions in the consultation.  As
you and others have stated, the differences in the frequency of instances
of support or concern were not substantial, so this difference was only a
minor factor.

One prominent factor that arose supporting Option 3 was a general desire
for balance in support for for Wikimania and regional/thematic
conferences.  Participants supporting this option frequently expressed that
these conferences both have independent, but important value for the work
or projects in which they or others are engaged.   For instance, many
pointed to the importance of regional collaboration-- travel arrangements
and matters of communication (particularly non-English) are easier, local
needs of projects can be prioritized in programming, and there are
opportunities for people to form working groups.  At the same time,
participants recognized the value of meeting together as a unified
movement.  Participants also voiced one benefit we did not consider-- that
taking this balanced approach could be an opportunity for better
interaction between Wikimania and regional/thematic conferences:  e.g.
Wikimania could serve to initiate projects relevant for a subsequent
regional conference. Conversely, a regional/thematic conference could serve
as good preparation for engagement at Wikimania.

A second factor were concerns over the costs of Wikimania itself, though
the "what" varied between the cost of attending, travel, and cost to
"movement resources" overall.  Given the discussion on the discussion page
and mailing lists, there are clearly a diversity of views over whether
Wikimania should cost more or less, but it was clear from participant
feedback that there were concerns with the overall cost.  This was also
true for folks who supported an annual Wikimania.  (On a related note, I
also would have expected that a summary of this budget to have been
presented from the outset, and I apologize that our team did not have this
ready until recently.)

A third factor was about the accessibility and exclusivity of Wikimania.
Many participants reported that they and others in their communities have
routinely been unable to attend Wikimania.  Consequently, they feel they've
been denied important opportunities and conversations with fellow
contributors, and to the extent that regional/thematic conferences can be
made more accessible, the better.  Organizers also noted that a consequence
of an annual Wikimania is that there is less motivation to plan/organize
regional conferences, which harms local solidarity and understanding of
regional issues.

I hope these themes provide a bit more depth to the feedback and context
for the conclusions in the consultation.

Thanks,

Jethro

Chris "Jethro" Schilling
I JethroBT (WMF) 
Community Organizer, Wikimedia Foundation


On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:40 PM, Chris Keating 
wrote:

> Hello Chris (or Jethro)! Thanks for taking time to reply.
>
> > Is it the WMF's view that Wikimania in its current form is
> > >
> > broken and change is needed - if so who represents that view to the
> > > community? (Or if not, what *is* the WMF's view?)
> >
> >
> > It is fair to say that our team does view the past planning process for
> > Wikimania (i.e. 2015 and prior) as problematic and not feasible, for the
> > reasons described in the consultation itself.[1]
>
> Great. I thought that table of issues was helpful, though wasn't quite
> clear whose it was  (so to speak). If the answer is "it's generally the
> view of the WMF staff working with this", that is good to know.
>
> > 4) I don't see a 55-47 vote on a menu of 3 options as being a
> particularly
> > > strong indication of community consensus. Indeed, it's pretty clear
> there
> > > isn't a consensus, and it would be a shame if people proceeded on the
> basis
> > > that "There was a consultation and the answer was X - so we're 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Call for Candidates - Affiliate Selected members of the WMF Board

2016-02-18 Thread Pete Forsyth
Risker, I think Lane understood SJ's question, and stated that it's outside
his group's mandate. I sympathize with Lane's position. I agree with SJ's
concern about what kind of candidates should be considered, but I do not
think it would be appropriate for a group of three to set the tone of what
kind of candidates the *chapters* should choose.

I hope that some way or another, there can be some open and thoughtful
communication about what qualities would be most helpful, that might help
individuals decide whether they want to apply, and that the chapters might
find helpful in evaluating whatever candidates emerge.
-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]
On Feb 18, 2016 8:16 PM, "Risker"  wrote:

> Hmm, Lane, I think you may be missing SJ's point.  He's asking what the
> group that is going to select candidates has put on its wishlist for
> candidates.  What skills are they seeking?  Are they looking for a certain
> geographic representation?  The "traditional duties of a board member" that
> you have described aren't even in line with the duties of a WMF board
> member (WMF has greater duties and responsibilities); but that isn't what
> SJ is asking either.  He's asking about what kind of candidates chapters
> are looking for.
>
> Are they looking for someone with a track record within the movement?  Are
> they looking for someone with experience in an executive position in a
> large movement organization?  Are they looking for people with proven
> leadership skills inside or outside the movement?  Are there significant
> variations in what each chapter values, or is there some element of
> consensus already?
>
> That's what SJ is asking.
>
> Really...the chapters won't benefit from having a bunch of candidates who
> have little experience or few skills. The requirement that a chapter
> support a candidate isn't all that high a bar, there are a lot of chapters
> after all, and some of them see things from a very different perspective
> than others.
>
> Risker/Anne
>
>
>
> On 18 February 2016 at 21:04, Lane Rasberry  wrote:
>
> > SJ,
> >
> > Can you please contact any Wikimedia chapter and ask them to request
> > nominations?
> >
> > There are two criteria for nominations - one is that their name has to be
> > posted on the nomination page, and the other is that a Wikimedia chapter
> > has to support their nomination.
> > <
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations
> > >
> >
> > Get any chapter to make any request for whatever kind of person they
> would
> > nominate, then maybe they can call for whatever they want.
> >
> > Going into more detail - the traditional duties of a board member are
> that
> > they approve the annual budget and oversee an organization's executive
> > director. That could mean anything, but such as it is, this is the role
> > description.
> >
> > The election belongs to the chapters. My request would be that anyone get
> > chapters engaged in any way possible, from discussing nominations, to
> > talking now about what kind of person they would elect, to planning
> > questions to ask before and during the election, and to plan how to
> choose
> > how each organizations vote will be cast in such a way that it reflects
> the
> > desire of chapter members.
> >
> > All Wikimedia chapters are encouraged to request the involvement of all
> > other Wikimedia chapters in this election. 2 of 10 seats of the board of
> > trustees will be chosen.
> >
> > Ask questions everywhere. This is a wiki election and should proceed in
> > wiki style.
> >
> > yours,
> >
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 8:48 PM, Samuel Klein  wrote:
> >
> > > Dear Chris and all,
> > >
> > > What sorts of candidates are you looking for?  How are you directing
> your
> > > search / how can we best help get the word to people who might be good
> > > candidates?  What do you see as the skills or other qualities the a
> > Trustee
> > > needs, or that would be effective on the Board?
> > >
> > > The FAQ says little about nominations, and the nomination form is also
> > > extremely generic.  Given the current difficulties around strategy &
> > > governance, more detail seems called for.
> > >
> > > Warmly,
> > > Sam
> > >
> > > On Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 4:29 AM, Chris Keating <
> > chriskeatingw...@gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Dear Wikimedia friends,
> > > >
> > > > **Call for Nominations - Affiliate Selected Board Seats**
> > > >
> > > > This year the Wikimedia chapters and Thematic Organisations will
> select
> > > two
> > > > members of the Wikimedia Foundation Board.
> > > >
> > > > We would like to invite nominations for candidates to be elected to
> the
> > > WMF
> > > > board in this process.  Please help us by distributing this call for
> > > > candidates as widely as possible through such forums as mailing
> lists,
> > > > village pumps, and blogs.
> > > >
> > > > *Role of WMF Board members*
> > > >
> > > > The 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Call for Candidates - Affiliate Selected members of the WMF Board

2016-02-18 Thread Risker
Well, I was interpreting SJ's question to be directed to everyone who is
involved in this election, not just the three election coordinators.

Having said that, during the last community (s)election, the Election
Committee deliberately was far more descriptive in identifying what was
being sought in candidates; in particular, there was a wide call for
diversity in the candidates.  (That despite the diverse geographies of the
candidates, the electorate selected three western white males was something
well outside the control of the Election Committee.)

It would not be inappropriate for the chapter group, either through the
coordination group or through some other means, to be more specific in what
kinds of talents and characteristics they'd like to see in candidates.

Risker/Anne



On 18 February 2016 at 22:18, Pete Forsyth  wrote:

> Risker, I think Lane understood SJ's question, and stated that it's outside
> his group's mandate. I sympathize with Lane's position. I agree with SJ's
> concern about what kind of candidates should be considered, but I do not
> think it would be appropriate for a group of three to set the tone of what
> kind of candidates the *chapters* should choose.
>
> I hope that some way or another, there can be some open and thoughtful
> communication about what qualities would be most helpful, that might help
> individuals decide whether they want to apply, and that the chapters might
> find helpful in evaluating whatever candidates emerge.
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> On Feb 18, 2016 8:16 PM, "Risker"  wrote:
>
> > Hmm, Lane, I think you may be missing SJ's point.  He's asking what the
> > group that is going to select candidates has put on its wishlist for
> > candidates.  What skills are they seeking?  Are they looking for a
> certain
> > geographic representation?  The "traditional duties of a board member"
> that
> > you have described aren't even in line with the duties of a WMF board
> > member (WMF has greater duties and responsibilities); but that isn't what
> > SJ is asking either.  He's asking about what kind of candidates chapters
> > are looking for.
> >
> > Are they looking for someone with a track record within the movement?
> Are
> > they looking for someone with experience in an executive position in a
> > large movement organization?  Are they looking for people with proven
> > leadership skills inside or outside the movement?  Are there significant
> > variations in what each chapter values, or is there some element of
> > consensus already?
> >
> > That's what SJ is asking.
> >
> > Really...the chapters won't benefit from having a bunch of candidates who
> > have little experience or few skills. The requirement that a chapter
> > support a candidate isn't all that high a bar, there are a lot of
> chapters
> > after all, and some of them see things from a very different perspective
> > than others.
> >
> > Risker/Anne
> >
> >
> >
> > On 18 February 2016 at 21:04, Lane Rasberry 
> wrote:
> >
> > > SJ,
> > >
> > > Can you please contact any Wikimedia chapter and ask them to request
> > > nominations?
> > >
> > > There are two criteria for nominations - one is that their name has to
> be
> > > posted on the nomination page, and the other is that a Wikimedia
> chapter
> > > has to support their nomination.
> > > <
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations
> > > >
> > >
> > > Get any chapter to make any request for whatever kind of person they
> > would
> > > nominate, then maybe they can call for whatever they want.
> > >
> > > Going into more detail - the traditional duties of a board member are
> > that
> > > they approve the annual budget and oversee an organization's executive
> > > director. That could mean anything, but such as it is, this is the role
> > > description.
> > >
> > > The election belongs to the chapters. My request would be that anyone
> get
> > > chapters engaged in any way possible, from discussing nominations, to
> > > talking now about what kind of person they would elect, to planning
> > > questions to ask before and during the election, and to plan how to
> > choose
> > > how each organizations vote will be cast in such a way that it reflects
> > the
> > > desire of chapter members.
> > >
> > > All Wikimedia chapters are encouraged to request the involvement of all
> > > other Wikimedia chapters in this election. 2 of 10 seats of the board
> of
> > > trustees will be chosen.
> > >
> > > Ask questions everywhere. This is a wiki election and should proceed in
> > > wiki style.
> > >
> > > yours,
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 8:48 PM, Samuel Klein 
> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Dear Chris and all,
> > > >
> > > > What sorts of candidates are you looking for?  How are you directing
> > your
> > > > search / how can we best help get the word to people who might be
> good
> > > > candidates?  

Re: [Wikimedia-l] What is the Board's HR Committee doing to stem the tide of staff resignations?

2016-02-18 Thread MZMcBride
Brion Vibber wrote:
>As a longtime part of Wikimedia's community and staff, I would really
>appreciate some clear answers on what's going on and why we're losing more
>and more longtime community and staff members while an ED who needs
>management coaching is still in place.

Please know that many other longtime Wikimedians are (now) paying close
attention. To this mailing list, to blog comments, to the wikis, etc.
There's certainly no shortage of places for discussion. :-)  I expect the
immediate issue to resolve itself in the next few weeks. Non-profits move
notoriously slowly and the Wikimedia Foundation is no exception in this
regard. My respect for the staff of the Wikimedia Foundation has only
grown seeing the restraint and maturity with which you all have acted.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Call for Candidates - Affiliate Selected members of the WMF Board

2016-02-18 Thread Pete Forsyth
Good points, thanks for clarifying. Agreed.
-Pete
On Feb 18, 2016 9:29 PM, "Risker"  wrote:

> Well, I was interpreting SJ's question to be directed to everyone who is
> involved in this election, not just the three election coordinators.
>
> Having said that, during the last community (s)election, the Election
> Committee deliberately was far more descriptive in identifying what was
> being sought in candidates; in particular, there was a wide call for
> diversity in the candidates.  (That despite the diverse geographies of the
> candidates, the electorate selected three western white males was something
> well outside the control of the Election Committee.)
>
> It would not be inappropriate for the chapter group, either through the
> coordination group or through some other means, to be more specific in what
> kinds of talents and characteristics they'd like to see in candidates.
>
> Risker/Anne
>
>
>
> On 18 February 2016 at 22:18, Pete Forsyth  wrote:
>
> > Risker, I think Lane understood SJ's question, and stated that it's
> outside
> > his group's mandate. I sympathize with Lane's position. I agree with SJ's
> > concern about what kind of candidates should be considered, but I do not
> > think it would be appropriate for a group of three to set the tone of
> what
> > kind of candidates the *chapters* should choose.
> >
> > I hope that some way or another, there can be some open and thoughtful
> > communication about what qualities would be most helpful, that might help
> > individuals decide whether they want to apply, and that the chapters
> might
> > find helpful in evaluating whatever candidates emerge.
> > -Pete
> > [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> > On Feb 18, 2016 8:16 PM, "Risker"  wrote:
> >
> > > Hmm, Lane, I think you may be missing SJ's point.  He's asking what the
> > > group that is going to select candidates has put on its wishlist for
> > > candidates.  What skills are they seeking?  Are they looking for a
> > certain
> > > geographic representation?  The "traditional duties of a board member"
> > that
> > > you have described aren't even in line with the duties of a WMF board
> > > member (WMF has greater duties and responsibilities); but that isn't
> what
> > > SJ is asking either.  He's asking about what kind of candidates
> chapters
> > > are looking for.
> > >
> > > Are they looking for someone with a track record within the movement?
> > Are
> > > they looking for someone with experience in an executive position in a
> > > large movement organization?  Are they looking for people with proven
> > > leadership skills inside or outside the movement?  Are there
> significant
> > > variations in what each chapter values, or is there some element of
> > > consensus already?
> > >
> > > That's what SJ is asking.
> > >
> > > Really...the chapters won't benefit from having a bunch of candidates
> who
> > > have little experience or few skills. The requirement that a chapter
> > > support a candidate isn't all that high a bar, there are a lot of
> > chapters
> > > after all, and some of them see things from a very different
> perspective
> > > than others.
> > >
> > > Risker/Anne
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On 18 February 2016 at 21:04, Lane Rasberry 
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > SJ,
> > > >
> > > > Can you please contact any Wikimedia chapter and ask them to request
> > > > nominations?
> > > >
> > > > There are two criteria for nominations - one is that their name has
> to
> > be
> > > > posted on the nomination page, and the other is that a Wikimedia
> > chapter
> > > > has to support their nomination.
> > > > <
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Nominations
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > Get any chapter to make any request for whatever kind of person they
> > > would
> > > > nominate, then maybe they can call for whatever they want.
> > > >
> > > > Going into more detail - the traditional duties of a board member are
> > > that
> > > > they approve the annual budget and oversee an organization's
> executive
> > > > director. That could mean anything, but such as it is, this is the
> role
> > > > description.
> > > >
> > > > The election belongs to the chapters. My request would be that anyone
> > get
> > > > chapters engaged in any way possible, from discussing nominations, to
> > > > talking now about what kind of person they would elect, to planning
> > > > questions to ask before and during the election, and to plan how to
> > > choose
> > > > how each organizations vote will be cast in such a way that it
> reflects
> > > the
> > > > desire of chapter members.
> > > >
> > > > All Wikimedia chapters are encouraged to request the involvement of
> all
> > > > other Wikimedia chapters in this election. 2 of 10 seats of the board
> > of
> > > > trustees will be chosen.
> > > >
> > > > Ask questions everywhere. This is a wiki election and should proceed
> in
> > > 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Call for Candidates - Affiliate Selected members of the WMF Board

2016-02-18 Thread Sam Klein
Lane writes:
> Can you please contact any Wikimedia chapter and ask them to request
> nominations?

Ok.  I take it they have already been emailed directly?  And each chapter
can handle this however they like?

> Get any chapter to make any request for whatever kind of person they
> would nominate, then maybe they can call for whatever they want.

Where should they do this – on Meta somewhere, on this list, on the private
chapters mailing list? Is there somewhere they can see wishlists others
have proposed?

This questions page does not shed much light; who is expected to contribute
to it?

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Questions



===
Risker writes:
> Well, I was interpreting SJ's question to be directed to everyone who is
> involved in this election, not just the three election coordinators.

Yes.  And +1 to your other comments.

I think the selection process would benefit from the affiliates considering
& sharing what is on their wishlist for candidates, before nominations are
closed.  If the facilitators can help make this happen, all the better.


===
> Ask questions everywhere. This is a wiki election and should proceed in
> wiki style.

++ Good, that's why I asked in the first place.  Feel free to migrate this
discussion elsewhere.

SJ
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Facebook marketing inside pt.wikipedia

2016-02-18 Thread Joseph Seddon
Hey Rodrigo,

I don't know of any example where Site Notice has been used in the past to
point people to facebook.

Although the intentions behind what is being proposed are good ones, I
think there are probably issues that surround neutrality and with the very
different privacy policy of facebook.

Based on those things alone it is not something I would recommend. I would
be happy to follow up with you further off list if you would like to
discuss this further.

Regards

-- 
Seddon

*Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
*Wikimedia Foundation*

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 1:42 PM, Rodrigo Padula <
rodrigopad...@wikimedia.org.br> wrote:

> Hello fellows!
>
> Since the end of the last year some contributors from pt.wikipedia are
> discussing regarding the idea of including the promotion of our Facebook
> Page on site Notice [1]
>
> That proposal was started by Teles, a Brazilian steward. He received a lot
> of local support.
>
> The general idea is to bring more people from Facebook to access Wikipedia
> through our Facebook page, but what we are doing is redirecting users from
> pt.wikipedia to Facebook and including a free Facebook ads on pt.wikipedia.
>
> I would like to know if it is ok for the Wikimedia Movement and if this
> kind of Facebook promotional campaign was proposed and published in other
> wikipedias/wikimedia projects.
>
> [1]
> https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Esplanada/propostas/Inserir_p%C3%A1gina_da_Wikip%C3%A9dia_em_portugu%C3%AAs_do_Facebook_no_sitenotice_%2825nov2015%29
>
> Best regards
>
> Rodrigo Padula
> Coordenador de Projetos
> Grupo Wikimedia Brasileiro de Educação e Pesquisa
> http://www.wikimedia.org.br
> +55 21 99326-0558
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Ben Creasy

> Dariusz Jemielniak  writes:
> I know of people who are overwhelmed with negativity on the list. I myself
> feel it, too, although I am determined not to reduce my participation or
> liaising with the communities.

The negativity is not going to magically go away, especially not when we start 
seeing more people leave as we're being warned about right here. There is a 
reason that resignations are a popular response to scandal: without them, the 
negativity can continue for a long, long time.

Also, this is not a good time for smiley faces. I can't imagine that it feels 
empathetic to staff members who are feeling let down right now.

> Dariusz Jemielniak  writes:
> I think that what is useful in such times is being precise: for instance,
> there was a voiced demand (which I support and consider reasonable) to have
> the Knowledge Engine explained. I really like the fact that there is an FAQ
> prepared and that there are answers posted. This is a constructive method
> of addressing a particular problem (I'm referring to the approach, not to
> the content, obviously, since it is a new page). I think we need precision
> in defining problems, and also precision in proposing constructive
> solutions, that's all.

OK, in terms of problems, staff are saying that it's Lila. Do you want them to 
be more specific in a public mailing list about how and where she has 
disappointed them? That seems like an awkward situation for Lila. I think the 
community has made it clear that we are disappointed about the transparency with
regard to the Knight Foundation, continuing up to a disappointing blog post. 
Note that the WMF declined to disclose the grant until Andreas Kolbe emailed 
the grant officer John Brackens who said that revealing grant documents is 
entirely up to the grantee (ie, WMF). Donor privacy was never an issue. People 
are entitled to have a limit at which point they say "enough is enough". That 
limit may be different than yours, but it's clear that it has been reached 
for many people.

Now, in terms of constructive solutions: it takes 2 board members to call a 
special meeting, with a minimum 2 days notice. Have you tried? I suspect that 
Maria might second you. If you cannot find a second, please let us know.

At that special meeting, you can make a motion to address the issues. I know 
how I would word the motion, and I don't think I need to spell it out for you. 
But maybe you have innovative ideas. The community should see the breakdown of 
the votes.

I noticed in a later post you pointed towards the Human Resources Committee as 
tackling the problem. This committee is composed of Jimbo, Patricio, and Guy 
Kawasaki. So: the guy who called James, the one who was trying to help staff, a 
"fucking liar" (if I recall correctly), the Chair of the board who removed the 
staff's friend, and who can be held most directly responsible for the board's 
lack of transparency and actions as the elected leader of the board, and Guy, 
who I understand is quite influential in the board room, but whose last 
communication to us was to express support for Arnnon without knowing how to 
sign his wiki username. That does not sound like a constructive way forward. I 
really wish I didn't have to point out these negative facts, as I have no 
interest in hurting anyone's feelings. I keep holding off from posting, hoping 
that better news will come.

When I first heard about the removal of James, the quote that ran through my 
mind, which I expressed to Sam Klein in a phone call, was from Warren Buffett: 
"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you t
hink about that, you'll do things differently".




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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Gayle Karen Young
People will leave despite how much they love a place, its mission, and its
volunteers at the point it becomes too painful for them to stay. And no one
can make that decision for them. While the support of one's colleagues goes
a very long way, it is necessary but not sufficient.  I have been watching,
even in pain and at a distance, the enormous toll it takes for people to go
in day after day and keep doing their work when they have felt unsupported
and unheard by the leadership, the board, and the movement, and uncertain
of the strategy of the organization - and even worse, characterized as
being the wrong people on the bus, so to speak - that this turnover is
"normal" and part of leadership transition. This is not normal.

Dysfunction at the top does matter. It sets the tone for what is
permissible in the organization. It is part of the leadership obligation to
create an organizational and systemic environment in which people thrive,
and feel aligned to the mission and the values of the organization. When
that is absent, the resulting toxicity is downright unfair to ask people to
continually endure.



On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:55 AM, Dan Andreescu 
wrote:

> >
> > This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the top.
> > If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
> > from Engineering won't be long now.
>
>
> I hope you're wrong, Ori.  I hope people have the presence of mind, like
> you say - despite the dysfunction at the top, to stay and talk things out
> among each other.  And to realize that the dysfunction at the top does not
> *really* matter.  People screw up, but this is a movement.  And this
> movement, as you point out, has not screwed up.
>
> I hope we talk, fix the problems, and grow stronger in our connection and
> commitment to the amazing community we serve.
>
> If anyone is feeling despair, please talk to me first, we have all the
> reason in the world to channel our effort in a positive direction.  Just to
> be clear, I admire Ori for his intelligence and for writing this email, I
> just hope he's wrong that people will leave this place that I love so much.
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[Wikimedia-l] (no subject)

2016-02-18 Thread attolippip
Thank you Ido and +1 to your message.

I would also +1 to Yaroslav's message, but I want to note, that though most
volunteers would not care about smth (seemingly) far away like WMF and its
troubles, they WOULD care about backlogs of bugs that are piling up, lack
of strategic approach to high-priority things like the Education extension
etc. And some volunteers (no doubt) are really upset by repeated cycles of
bad press we are getting. Unnecessarily...

Best regards,
antanana
Board Member of WMUA

2016-02-18 23:52 GMT+02:00 Yaroslav M. Blanter :

> On 2016-02-18 21:20, Leila Zia wrote:
>
>> Hi Dariusz,
>>
>> I want to share with you the following relatively scattered thoughts and
>> leave it to you to decide how to continue engaging with us. :-) I hope you
>> find them helpful:
>>
>> * BoT has been too silent, given the state of matters. I'm much more
>> worried about our volunteers when I say this, than the WMF's staff (which
>> I'm one of).
>>
>
> To be honest, most volunteers do not care. We understand of course that if
> things would go really wrong, for example, servers stop running, or money
> runs out and ads are introduced, or English Wikipedia admins continue
> resigning/being desysopped without proper replacement, so that we have ten
> active admins, then we are in serious trouble. But as far as things are
> running quasi-normal, we just continue. I was making 50 to 100 edits per
> day five years ago, I am making 50 to 100 edits per day now, I will
> probably still be making 50 to 100 edits per day in five years, unless I
> die or leave because of a serious demotivation - and this demotivation is
> unlikely to be related to WMF. I think staff are way more vulnerable to all
> kinds of events.
>
>
> * Because of the lack of clear communications by the BoT, I'm uncertain
>> whether there is an acknowledgement by the BoT about the issues we are
>> facing. What can assure me at the moment is to see a list of items the BoT
>> sees as problematic, and a plan for addressing them, and a schedule for
>> when we should expect seeing them addressed. (Half-jokingly: maybe we need
>> a phabrictor board for the BoT to track specific tasks that can be shared
>> publicly and their prioritization).
>>
>>
> This is a cool idea. It is a pity it has zero chances to be realized.
>
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] An Open Letter to Wikimedia Foundation BoT

2016-02-18 Thread Gayle Karen Young
Also, +1 to Ori.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:16 PM, Gayle Karen Young 
wrote:

> People will leave despite how much they love a place, its mission, and its
> volunteers at the point it becomes too painful for them to stay. And no one
> can make that decision for them. While the support of one's colleagues goes
> a very long way, it is necessary but not sufficient.  I have been watching,
> even in pain and at a distance, the enormous toll it takes for people to go
> in day after day and keep doing their work when they have felt unsupported
> and unheard by the leadership, the board, and the movement, and uncertain
> of the strategy of the organization - and even worse, characterized as
> being the wrong people on the bus, so to speak - that this turnover is
> "normal" and part of leadership transition. This is not normal.
>
> Dysfunction at the top does matter. It sets the tone for what is
> permissible in the organization. It is part of the leadership obligation to
> create an organizational and systemic environment in which people thrive,
> and feel aligned to the mission and the values of the organization. When
> that is absent, the resulting toxicity is downright unfair to ask people to
> continually endure.
>
>
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 10:55 AM, Dan Andreescu 
> wrote:
>
>> >
>> > This is happening in spite of -- not thanks to -- dysfunction at the
>> top.
>> > If you don't believe me, all you have to do is wait: an exodus of people
>> > from Engineering won't be long now.
>>
>>
>> I hope you're wrong, Ori.  I hope people have the presence of mind, like
>> you say - despite the dysfunction at the top, to stay and talk things out
>> among each other.  And to realize that the dysfunction at the top does not
>> *really* matter.  People screw up, but this is a movement.  And this
>> movement, as you point out, has not screwed up.
>>
>> I hope we talk, fix the problems, and grow stronger in our connection and
>> commitment to the amazing community we serve.
>>
>> If anyone is feeling despair, please talk to me first, we have all the
>> reason in the world to channel our effort in a positive direction.  Just
>> to
>> be clear, I admire Ori for his intelligence and for writing this email, I
>> just hope he's wrong that people will leave this place that I love so
>> much.
>> ___
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>> 
>>
>
>
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